Week 3: Lisa Williams’ Stoptober update

THE figures speak for themselves.

Thursday, 18th October 2012, 12:39 pm

After just 21 days of ditching the cigarettes, Guardian account manager Lisa Williams has saved £125 - enough to pay the Council Tax or gas and electricity bill for a month.

And despite coming down with a bad cold this week, the 34-year-old mum of two is already starting to see and feel the health benefits of giving up smoking for Stoptober.

“There are still times when I feel like giving in, but overall it’s getting easier as the days go on,” she said.

“I can’t believe how I actually used to manage to afford smoking, and it was great to have some money still left over before pay day.”

Bassetlaw specialist stop smoking advisor Kate Burley visited Lisa for her weekly check-up and was pleased to see her carbon monoxide levels had fallen to 1ppm - from 34ppm at the start of the challenge.

Lisa said she is having trouble sleeping but Kate said this is a common side-effect from giving up smoking.

“My skin is definitely less dry and my breathing is better but I am having trouble sleeping , waking up five to six times in the night and having trouble getting back off,” she said.

“Kate explained to me this is because my body is so used to getting a nicotine fix just before I go to bed that it’s just taking time to adjust.”

Lisa is also seeing the benefits at social occasions but knows there is a bigger challenge round the corner.

“We went to a family wedding at the weekend and for once it was nice to be able to join in the fun, instead of standing outside smoking,” she said.

“But we have got a work’s do coming and it’ll be the first time I will have a few drinks, so I am going to have to be really strong, and not let me resolve weaken.”

She added: “Kate has told me that it’s not the end of the world if I slip up, but I don’t think I am that strong - I will really feel like I have failed and let the side down.”

“But I have shown myself I can do it. We’ve had some stressful times at work recently when I normally would have had a cigarette to calm down, but I have managed to walk away.”

• If you would like help to stop smoking, it is not too late.

Bassetlaw Stop Smoking Service offers free help, advice and visits - just email [email protected] or call 0800 3288553.

You can also find out more about Stoptober and read Lisa’s online blog by visiting www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/stoptober