Meet Debi


‘Smoking is a habit, it’s an addiction. You have to be strong to overcome it but there is help and tools out there. Try and find something that you want to do more and do that instead.’

I wasn’t ready to quit. I’d been smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 30 years and if I’m honest I still enjoyed it. I thought it helped me cope with things, whenever I was stressed the first thing I would do was light up.

I had just discovered running, and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to get more active because of the clear health benefits it gave me. I’d tried loads of different things before, but running was the only thing that stuck. I knew I couldn’t do it to the best of my ability whilst I was still smoking. It was a plain choice between my health and my addiction.

So I gave it a go. It wasn’t easy, but I made sure I had the right tools. I used the NHS SmokeFree app to help challenge me and track my progress. Seeing it all down in one place showing the impact on my health and the amount of money I was saving was really motivating.

I felt a difference to my health immediately. I noticed an improvement in my sense of taste and smell and I was able to have a better time when I went out with friends. No more standing outside a pub on my own or smelling of stale tobacco!

But the main things were that my breathing and fitness levels improved so much that I was able to run faster and get much more enjoyment from running. That really helped me to overcome some of the worries I had about quitting. I thought I would put on weight and become more stressed, but being active helped with both those things.

I’ve been smoke-free for 4 years now. I’ve completed a marathon and after just a year of quitting, the money I saved on ciggies paid for a road trip for me and my husband across America!

Debi’s tips for quitting…

  • Find something you love more than smoking and whenever you get a craving – go and do it! I found that being active is a great place to start – it helped me manage my stress and weight. You don’t have to go for a run, you could start off with going for a walk. It’s free and you can do it anytime.
  • Make a list of the things that are bad about smoking and keep looking back at that to motivate you.
  • Use your friends and family to help keep you on track, particularly if you get a craving. Their support will help you more than you think.
  • If you are anything like me and you like a challenge download the NHS Smokefree app on your phone. I still look at mine even now and it still motivates me.

If Debi can Quit the Ciggies, so can you!

Call our team of advisors on 0800 061 4212 or text ‘QUIT’ to 66777 to access FREE tailored support to help you go smoke free.