Specialist Stop Smoking Service

Marion Harris, age 51 from Barking, quit smoking with the help of our Specialist Stop Smoking Team. She shares her experiences below:



How did you find out about the service?

I was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia and stayed in the Chest Unit for two and a half weeks. The doctor said to me I would need to stop smoking if I wanted to get better as my oxygen levels were very low.

One of the nurses told me about the Specialist Stop Smoking Service and that’s when two Advisors came up to me by my bedside on the ward and explained that they could help me.

They booked me into the clinic,  for the week after at the Barking Learning Centre and I have now been with the service for five weeks.

What is your smoking history?

Smoking was my life, I have smoked since I was five years old. Back then, you could smoke in shops and no one cared.

I used to smoke between ten and fifteen and on a bad day around twenty. In the past, smoking has given me chest infections and I also suffer from asthma.

What method did you use to quit smoking?

I have been using patches and the inhalator also helps me. I look forward to seeing my stop smoking advisor every Monday, just to say that I haven’t smoked.

What personal challenges did you face?  

I always went to my cigarettes when I got up and before I went to bed, they were my lifeline. I would even go without food for a cigarette. Smoking has been a part of me my whole life.

Have you noticed any health benefits?

Yes, my breathing and walking have both improved, and I can now also smell what my family could all this time. I can even smell the cigarette smell on others.

Finally, I’m no longer getting chest infections which will hopefully mean I can come off my asthma pumps and steroids as I am now smoke free.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to quit smoking?

Give it your all, make sure it’s what you really want and don’t get as bad as I was before you quit. If you are thinking of giving up smoking, then do it.

The advisors are so supportive and understanding, especially when I said I couldn’t see myself stopping.

Take it day by day, I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve been getting. There is always a way to quit, they have done the world of good to me.

I am now eight weeks free of smoking and happier than I have ever been. I have not wanted a cigarette or felt tempted to have one.

I want to thank the Stop Smoking Advisors who helped me get to this stage, I could not have done it without their support.

For more information on how you can quit call 020 8724 8018 or email