Posted on Tuesday 12 March 2019
A woman who stopped smoking after more than 20 years attributes her success to the “powerful” and “positive” support she received from the stop smoking service at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Kananu Kirimi, 41, from Vauxhall, who volunteers in Brixton, started smoking as a teenager, eventually quitting the 30 a-day smoking habit in January 2019, with support from the Trust’s stop smoking advisor, Christina Rowe.
Kananu says: “ I’ve smoked on and off since I was 18. It was a symbol of independence, maturity, a bit of rebellion. It was a social thing but my smoking quickly got out of control.
“Eventually I felt I had to make a decision as I was smoking more and I could feel myself deteriorating, mentally and physically. I tried many times to stop smoking using self-help books and videos but they didn’t work for me long-term. When I searched online I came across the Guy’s and St Thomas’ stop smoking service.
“Christina Rowe, my stop smoking advisor has been amazing, inspiring and caring. One of the first things she told me was: “Cigarettes are your friend, but you don’t need them anymore.” It was so powerful and I decided to give up smoking that day. It was a positive way to quit.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ stop smoking service supports a Trust-wide initiative known as Make Every Contact Count where staff (clinical and non-clinical) encourage patients to change behaviours and lifestyle to improve their overall health. All patients are screened and asked about smoking and alcohol intake.
Alanna Molloy, stop smoking service manager, says: “We know that stopping smoking can be challenging but I’d say to any smoker – “You’re four times more likely to stop smoking with NHS support”. Our team of advisors are here to support you so you can give up smoking for good.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ provides stop smoking services in a range of settings across Lambeth and Southwark including cafes and church halls, in the patient’s home and at hospital sites. For help to stop smoking email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0800 169 6002 or 020 3049 8550 (Southwark community), 0800 856 3409 or 0203 049 5791 (Lambeth community) or 020 7188 0995 (at our hospitals).