Being smoke-free is poetry for Charlotte

Being smoke-free is poetry for Charlotte

This Christmas has brought a boost for a Hertfordshire woman when she managed to kick the smoking habit. Not only did her health benefit, but she discovered a hidden talent – and was able to save some money for a few extra treats.

When asthma-sufferer Charlotte Worbey began to worry about the effect smoking was having on her health, she knew it was time to kick her 15-a-day habit once and for all.

Determined to make a change for the sake of herself and her non-smoking husband, Lee, the 26-year-old approached Hertfordshire’s Stop Smoking Service for expert help and advice – and hasn’t looked back since.

Now nearly three months on, Charlotte’s feeling better than ever and is encouraging others to follow her lead and go smoke-free.

“I wanted to stop for several different reasons,” said Charlotte, who started smoking two years ago after having problems at work. “My husband doesn’t smoke and was giving me quite a lot of grief, so I didn’t want to let him down. I also didn’t think it was fair to carry on smoking around him.

“Money was also a factor as was my health, as I suffer from asthma. One day it hit me hard – why was I trying to damage my health even more by smoking?”

Following a consultation with an expert advisor from Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service, Charlotte was prescribed a 12-week course of Champix tablets to relieve her cravings. She also went along to regular consultations to give her extra help and motivation.

“It was ever so friendly and my stop smoking advisor was more than welcoming,” added Charlotte, who lives in Letchworth. “She didn’t judge me, which I really liked, and she understood the reasons I smoked and why I wanted to quit.

“She also explained to Lee that quitting smoking wasn’t going to be easy. That was great as it helped him to understand my situation which meant I got extra support at home.

“The support my advisor gave me throughout my whole journey was fantastic. Even after my appointments came to an end, she said we could remain in contact over the phone if I ever needed her, which was extremely helpful.”

Although she describes the Champix as “brilliant”, Charlotte did still suffer some cravings – but found a unique way of managing them. She said: “I wrote poems about how I was feeling whenever I had a really bad craving. It was a great distraction and really helped take my mind off it. By the time I’d finished the poem, the craving had gone.

“I now feel amazing and am so pleased I’ve gone smoke-free. It’s really helped my asthma and I don’t use my inhaler as much. I’m enjoying having a bit more money to spend, which I put towards Christmas, and my husband is delighted that I’ve quit. He’s really pleased I don’t smell of smoke anymore!

“My advice to other people thinking about stopping would be to go and get help – it makes it so much easier. And instead of thinking how hard it would be to quit, think about how proud everyone would be of you if you did go smoke-free.

“It would make them happy, which in turn would also make you happy – so you’ve got nothing to lose.”

To contact Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service, please call 0800 389 3 998 to get advice or book one to one appointments with trained stop smoking advisors who offer effective behavioural advice and tips to manage cravings. There are many medications that can help you and the advisors can help find the right medication, which is available for the cost of a prescription - much cheaper than buying over the counter. If you don’t pay for a prescription - then medication is free.

Notes to editors

Stop smoking services are available at the following practices and pharmacies

GP Surgeries 
Amwell Street Surgery - 19 Amwell Street, Hoddesdon, EN11 8TS 01992 464147
Buntingford Medical - White Hart Close, Buntingford, SG9 9DQ 01763 271362
Castlegate Surgery - Castle Street, Hertford, SG14 1HH 0844 8151224
Church Street Surgery - 30A Church Street, Bishops Stortford, CM23 2LY 01279 657 636
Dolphin House Surgery - 6-7 East Street, Ware, SG12 9HJ 01920 468777
Hailey View Surgery - 39 Christian Close, Hoddesdon, EN11 9FF 01992 463363
Haileybury Health Centre - Haileybury College, Hertford, SG13 7NU 01992 706288
Hanscombe House - 52A St Andrews Street, Hertford, SG14 1JA 01992 582025
Orchard Surgery - Baldock Road, Buntingford SG9 9DL 01763 272411
Limes Surgery - 8-14 Limes Ct, Conduit Lane, Hoddesdon, EN11 8EP 01992 464533
Maltings Surgery - 15 Amwell End, Ware, SG12 9HP 01920 469977
Park Lane Surgery - 8 Park Lane, Broxbourne. EN10 7NQ 01992 465555
Puckeridge Surgery - Station Road, Puckeridge, SG11 1TF 0844 4773710
Wallace House Surgery - 5-11 St Andrews Street, Hertford, SG14 1HZ 01992 550541
Ware Road Surgery - 77 Ware Road, Hertford, SG13 7EE 01992 414500

Andrews Chemist - 104 High Street, Ware, SG12 9AP 01920 462239
Eastware Pharmacy - 2B East Street, Ware, SG12 9HJ 01920 469823
Elgon Chemist - 53 High Road, Broxbourne, EN10 7HX 01992 460202
Laxtons - 45 High Road, Broxbourne, EN10 7HX 01992 462293
Lloyds Pharmacy - 1-4 Limes Court, Conduit Lane, Hoddesdon, EN11 8EP 01992 463828
Lloyds Pharmacy - 16 Fawkon Walk, Hoddesdon, EN11 8TJ 01992 445482
Lloyds Pharmacy - 5-7 St Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1HZ 01992 582001
St Andrews Pharmacy - 44a St Andrew Street Hertford SG14 1JA 01992 589463
Tesco Pharmacy - 5 West Street, Ware, SG12 9EE 01920 343447
Tesco Pharmacy (100 Hour) - Ware Road, Hertford SG14 1QA 01992 827247
Ware Cross Pharmacy - 40 Christian Close, Hoddesdon, EN11 9FF 01992 440380

More information about local stop smoking services is available on Smokefree Hertfordshire

Below is a sample of Charlotte’s poems:

I was having a tough time,
Things were building up
Stress was eating away at me.
I felt empty and lonely,
Then I saw you on the shelves behind the till.
I wanted to buy you,
To smoke your sweet nicotine
I was close to doing so.
But I stopped.
I looked at my phone,
16 days I have been smoke free,
How could I break that?
The hard work that’s been done
So I sucked a sweet.
I walked straight out of there.
I won’t destroy my hard work.

Work day begins….
The boss is being nasty to me….
The work day is going by slowly….
I come home at the end of the day….
Next day….
My dog is very poorly….
The boiler is not working….
Job rejections beings….
Plenty of days….
Plenty of cravings….
It’s hard….
But I did not cave into my….

Why did I smoke those things?

Every time I had a puff
My lungs were filled with horrible stuff

My clothes would smell awful
My breath was just unbearable

The money I would spend on death sticks
I now think of poor starving kids

I don’t want to die young
I have so much to do in this short life

The time I would waste having a smoke
Even if it caused me to choke

Why did I smoke?