A Somerset mum of one year old triplets is supporting the new hard hitting regional stop smoking campaign launching this week across the South West.
She wants to show that 1 in 2 smokers will die early from smoking, missing out on precious moments in life with their loved ones
The campaign highlights those key times in a family’s life we all cherish and urges smokers to ‘Be There Tomorrow’.
Felicity Dewane from Yeovil was motivated to give up smoking when she was pregnant with triplets. With so many important family events to look forward to in the coming years she wanted to give herself every chance of not missing them and being there for her family.
She first tried smoking when she was just 14 years old and went on to smoke around 30 roll-ups a day. Thanks to the support given by Smokefreelife Somerset, Felicity has now quit for good enabling her young daughters to grow up in a smokefree environment.
Having unsuccessfully tried to quit smoking by going ‘cold turkey’ at the age of sixteen, Felicity knew that this time she needed support to quit. Felicity’s motivation was her pregnancy. She wanted to ensure the babies she was bringing into the world had the very best healthy start in life.
Felicity urges anyone who is considering quitting to ‘give it a go’ and to get help from their local stop smoking service. She was part of the Mums2Be Smokefree programme in Somerset and Tracey Hellyar, Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Coordinator at Smokefreelife Somerset, provided all of the support she needed.
Tracey explains: “I visited the busy mum at her home to provide all of the information, guidance and products she required. Having started on the nicotine replacement patches, Felicity moved onto nicotine replacement oral strips, which suited her much more.
“I visited from the early pregnancy stage right throughout the pregnancy and then at a 3 and 6 month follow up visit. Felicity’s partner, Brian was also motivated to quit and together they provided each other with that much needed additional support.”
Felicity received lots of advice such as taking herself out of any situation that was making her want to smoke. She said: “I took the dog out for a walk just to get away from the daily stresses and to breathe some fresh air. I’ve suffered from mental health issues too and if a new mum of triplet girls with mental health issues can do it, then anybody can, no matter how hard it is, keep pushing.”
“There were a couple of times when I wanted to give up and just go back to smoking, however, my advisor pulled me through and provided all of the help I needed to get back on track.”
Felicity has never looked back and now firmly believes she will be smokefree for life.
She said: “The family home is now completely smokefree. I am encouraging my dad to quit too so he will be here tomorrow as a grandfather for many years to come.”
Cllr. Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member with responsibility for health, Somerset County Council said: “It’s widely known that quitting smoking has health and financial benefits but what is less well understood is the far reaching impact it has on mental wellbeing and happiness.”
Kate Knight, deputy director for Smokefree South West, said: “We commissioned a survey to help launch the campaign which shows that 62% of ex-smokers in the South West say they are happier since they quit smoking with around a third saying that giving up smoking has led to major lifestyle changes. 48% say they feel more in control of their future, 27% say they have a more positive outlook on life, 11% lost weight after giving up smoking and interestingly around 5% also said their sex life had improved.”
Somerset residents are able to access free local support to quit which can include free stop smoking medications given at your appointment. You can contact the service by visiting http://www.smokefreelifesomerset.co.uk, calling 01823 765006 / 0800 2461063 or through our Facebook (Smokefreelife Somerset) and Twitter pages (@Somerset_sfl).
Notes to the editor:
All percentages and figures in this press release are taken from a OnePoll survey undertaken in 2015.
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