'I quit smoking for my son'

Cecelia Elliott, a London secretary, realised her son might have to grow up without a mum if she didn't stop smoking. Here's how she successfully quit.

“I’ve been smoking on and off since I was 16. My dad used to smoke and I thought I’d try it. By the time I was an adult, I was smoking 10 a day – but on a bad day, I’d get through 15-20. I smoked even more when I was stressed.

“Over 26 years I had times where I stopped smoking. I’d always stop for Lent, but I’d be counting the days until I could have a cigarette again. My 12-year-old son, Blair, used to lecture me on smoking. When I lit up, he’d open a window and start coughing, but I didn’t want to know.

“Then one day we were driving along and saw a big stop smoking poster with a picture of a wreath that spelt out MUM. It was obviously saying that the mum had died and the wreath was from her children. Blair looked at it and said, ‘I don’t want that to be me.’

'I didn't want to die from smoking'

"My mum died when I was a teenager and I didn't want Blair to go through that experience as well. So I thought, 'I have to sort this. I have to stop'. I knew I could die of something else, but I really didn't want to die from smoking. I didn't want to contribute to my own death.

"I saw an advert on TV for Quit and rang them to get the number of the support group nearest to me. By the time I went for my first appointment, I'd already stopped for a week.

"The group met once a week for six weeks. It was great having the support of people in the same position. We could talk about our experiences, and we could phone each other if we needed help.

"About three weeks in, I did have a couple of puffs, just to see what I was missing, but I didn't enjoy it. Once I made up my mind, there was no going back.

"It was much easier than I thought it would be. The only time that was difficult was just after dinner, when I'd usually have had a cigarette. But it was just habit. Instead, I'd wash the dishes or do something else.

"I can now go out with people who smoke and I don't feel tempted. I look at them and think, 'I'm so glad I don't have to do that any more'. I'm more aware of how much it smells.

"Now I'm just loving life. I feel brilliant! I feel free of the burden of having to have cigarettes when I'm going out, or having to stand in a special queue for them in the supermarket.

"I love not smoking. I can put my hand on my heart now and say I will not smoke again. My son's over the moon about it. He keeps saying, 'I can't believe you've stopped for me'. He's chuffed to bits."

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Read what you can do now to stop smoking.

Page last reviewed: 20/09/2014

Next review due: 20/09/2016


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The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

dippydory said on 01 August 2011

It took me a year and plenty of failed attempts before I finally did it & only used patches for a week. I did get extra grumpy and totally panicky at work and home, but 5 months later, 2 stone heavier and full lung capacity I feel and look so much healthier. Now I need to start the couch to 5k running plan but too nervous.. maybe I should do it extra early.. but since quitting don't worry about weight gain, that can be lost again.. but I needed to gain weight.. but my skin has real colour, its glowing.. so I am glad I gave up.
There's so many different ways to give up smoking, and what worked for us may not work for you. Like I said it took me a year just to work up the will power.. but you'll do it when you need to! Good luck and keep trying.

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End Game said on 15 July 2009

I gave up smoking in January of this year. I had smoked over twenty a day since I was about fifteen. I struggled with putting on weight to begin with and had to combat this with regular excercise. This was a blessing in disguise as I now feel much healthier and happier about myself.

Reader, if you are thinking of giving up I would like to say that it is not that hard. I went to Boots and did patches on nhs prescriptions and after the first two weeks, which was a real struggle, the feeling of achievement really kicked in and kept me going, that and the realisation that all smokers smell awful.

I can now unabashedly kiss my non smoking boyfriend all the time.

Next problem to tackle is drinking.

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Hev x said on 07 May 2008

im so happy for you

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