“I tried nicotine patches but needed that extra support.”
59-year-old Andrew was referred to OneSmallStep by his GP for support to quit smoking.
Andrew suffered from liver disease for over two years and was told he had to quit smoking in order for his immune system to cope with a liver transplant. Andrew was a heavy smoker; he had his first cigarette aged 15 and since smoked an average of 20 a day.
Andrew says, “After the cancer came back, I was told I had to quit smoking otherwise I wouldn’t receive the transplant. I felt very low, I had attempted quitting numerous times in the past but it didn’t work. I knew I had to be healthy for the transplant to be successful. I tried nicotine patches again but I needed that extra support.”
Craving strategies and coping with withdrawal
Denise, a specialist OneSmallStep smoking coach, set up six fortnightly face-to-face sessions with him. The sessions focused on craving strategies, techniques to cope with withdrawal symptoms, the chemical processes involved with quitting and advice on staying healthy.
“Denise was able to answer all of my awkward questions. I gradually cut down the amount of nicotine in my patches and learnt techniques that worked for me.”
Leading a healthier life
On top of the advice Denise gave around smoking, she offered Andrew support around leading a healthier life and increasing physical activity to better prepare for the transplant.
“The strategies Denise showed me for dealing with my cravings were invaluable. I haven’t smoked a cigarette in over nine months and I feel determined and motivated to stay smoke-free.
“For me it was a mind trick. I kept busy and occupied but mostly I felt reassured knowing I had someone available on a regular basis.”