Mel celebrates four months smoke-free

Image of quote from Mel "I smoked for 30 years but with Livewell's support I've quit for good."

and urges other smokers in Derby to quit

43-year-old Mel was devastated when her dentist said she would lose her teeth if she didn’t stop smoking. That, along with a persistent cough, gave Mel the push to get support from the Council’s Livewell service to quit for good.


Mel is hoping that her four-month smoke free milestone will spur other smokers to ditch the cigarettes this No Smoking Day on 13 March as the campaign reveals two in three smokers die of smoking related diseases and that young adults are more likely to take up the habit if their parents, caregivers or friends do.

Most people know that smoking is bad for their overall health, but many don’t realise the damage it can do to their mouth, gums and teeth.  Smokers have an increased risk of developing some serious dental health issues and for Mel, the thought of losing teeth and having ongoing severe gum disease led her to search online for local support to kick her habit for good.

A smoker for nearly three decades, Mel, originally from down South, referred to tobacco as her ‘best friend’ and losing that crux needed some serious planning as she explains:

“Crying on the drive back from my dentist, I realised smoking had controlled my life for 30 years too long and I vowed to quit.  

I found Livewell online and liked the sound of the free support and nicotine products they offer, so I registered and booked a phone appointment.

Speaking to Advisor, Sourma, I instantly felt I’d found someone who not only understood the struggles of quitting but could support me through it step by step.

She helped me put a plan into action; I set a quit date (13 November), gave all my smoking paraphernalia to my neighbour, started a new colouring hobby to keep by hands and mind busy and picked up nicotine patches and mouth spray from the Springwood Leisure Centre drop-in.

On my quit day, I changed my routine.  I walked with my friend and her children to school instead of reaching for my tobacco tin alongside my morning cuppa.

The patches didn’t agree with me, but the nicotine mouth spray has become my new best friend.  It helps me keep on top of cravings by providing instant relief when I feel them strike.    

Sourma checked in with me weekly and it helped keep me focused through some difficult points. 

Experiencing my carbon monoxide levels reduce to that of a non-smoker was tangible evidence of the health benefits of quitting. I grinned like a Cheshire cat when the monitor showed 2 instead of 46, which is what it was on my first visit to the drop-in.  Seeing it stay in the green every time I picked up nicotine products was reassuring.

122 days and counting, I feel like I’ve now cracked it.  It’s good to be free of the ties of smoking, know I’m doing my best for my oral health, waking up without coughing and having a fresh smelling house and clothes.

Giving up continues to be a daily struggle but it’s gradually getting easier, and I’m determined to stay quit.  I’d recommend anyone considering stopping smoking this No Smoking Day to get the right support.”

Livewell advisor, Sourma Alam said:

“It has been my absolute pleasure to help Mel through her quit journey. I hope it shows just how life changing making that decision to stop smoking can be. 
Despite some difficult moments, she has battled through and it’s a real testament to her determination and willpower and I couldn’t be prouder of her.”

Inspired to quit?

Whatever your reason to stop smoking, join Livewell to get free Nicotine products and friendly support.  Find out more and book your phone appointment online today.

Mel’s top 5 tips

  • Use the Smokefree Quit Smoking app to track the days, see how much you’re saving and stay motivated.
  • Tell everyone you’ve quit – your friends, family and Livewell advisor will all support you.
  • Get professional help – you’re three times more likely to quit successfully! Get support from a local stop smoking service like Livewell – if you live outside of Derby, find your nearest service here.
  • Plan your quit – set a date, remove any smoking temptations from the house, plan changes to your routine and ways to keep busy.  A stop smoking advisor can support you with this
  • Reward yourself with the money you save – not only do you save on the cost of tobacco, but the treatments Livewell supplies are free.  Put the money to one side to spend on a luxury you wouldn’t normally have.