Want to stop smoking? Join the Stoptober challenge

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Catherine McCabe

There’s no better time to kick the smoking habit than during Stoptober, the national no smoking challenge in October. If you want to quit, Guy’s and St Thomas’ stop smoking team is on hand to help.

The team, which runs stop smoking clinics at both hospitals and in community venues in Lambeth and Southwark, has helped more than 600 smokers take their first steps towards giving up smoking.

Catherine McCabe, 49, a receptionist at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton, quit a 36-year smoking habit last October with their support.

Catherine, who lives in West Norwood, says: “I smoked 20 cigarettes a day. I started when I was 13. I suppose I was just following everyone else - it was the fashion back then.

“It wasn’t until I ended up with a sore throat and my GP referred me to Guy’s Hospital with suspected throat cancer that I faced up to what smoking was doing to me. I saw people in the clinic with parts of their faces missing because of surgery to remove cancer.

“Thankfully the hospital doctor could only see a few small nodules at the back of my throat. I knew then that I had to stop and I’ve never looked back.

“Occasionally I still have cravings but with the help of nicotine patches that soon passes. I’d never done exercise before but now I do Zumba classes with my sister twice a week and I’m starting to feel fitter.

“I’m one of seven children and everyone in my family has smoked at some point except my youngest brother. My 74-year-old mum quit 10 years ago and she always said, ‘Cath, if I can do it you can too’. Now I know she was right.”

People who use the stop smoking service are four times more likely to quit. Patients can choose from a range of stop smoking treatments and are supported to cope with everyday triggers such as stress.

If you would like to know more about the Guy’s and St Thomas’ stop smoking service and how to get help call 020 7188 0995 or email: [email protected].

Last updated: September 2014

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