Nursing Bits: Lets not smoke.

So everybody knows smoking is not a good habit to have, as a nurse (especially as a respiratory nurse) I have a duty to help with smoking cessation. I feel that as a country we have come far with smoking cessation, however there are still people I come into contact with every day who still don’t know the benefits or the risks of smoking. Most people think of lung cancer as the main reason not to smoke but there are so many more common illnesses from smoking that are not understood until it’s too late. I have had many a patient tell me if they had known about the conditions caused by smoking they would have put more effort into quitting.
This is also a very personal subject for me as I quit smoking a while ago (thank goodness) so I am happy to share my experiences with this and I understand it is not an easy thing to do. Now I’m on the other side, I 100% know the benefits (No more morning cough) I can actually breath properly (I honestly thought I was breathing properly before).

My experience

I started smoking when I was in college, throughout school and college I felt a massive pressure from exams and having to make massive decisions that affect the rest of your life. I think, from speaking to hundreds of different smokers this is quite common. I had issues with anxiety and panic attacks anyway, smoking was a way in which I could take five and chill out. Over time I learnt to deal with my anxiety but the smoking habit was hard to kick once I had started it.

28951649482_1d4c2fab14_o.jpgAs healthcare professionals there isn’t much data on the way I quit smoking, The NHS still officially recommends nicotine replacement therapy, which I will touch on later on. I quit smoking by switching to vaping and using the principals behind nicotine replacement therapy. Although there isn’t much data on the long term safety of e-cigarettes and vaping. In recent years there has been much more recognized research done that is supported by the NHS and the department of health. One paper supported by these organisations suggests that e-cigarettes are likely 95% safer than smoking tobacco, which I think is quite exciting in regards to the prospects of future quitters. More recently there have been studies looking at the more long term effects that have generally supported this claim.

This is how I quit, using vaping. I decided to quit as I was struggling to conceive (I had planned to quit if I got pregnant anyway). I was always aware that this habit was more than likely greatly effecting me and on several occasions had tried to quit by going cold turkey (which didn’t work for me). Once I had quit I would get another blow in regards to my fertility or life events and that would make me start smoking again.
Eventually I got so fed up with myself I really looked into the best way, for me to quit. I worked on a stroke unit at the time, and yes smoking contributes to the risk of having a stroke. This somehow didn’t put me off, until I looked after a patient that had had a stroke, but also had respiratory problems from smoking. COPD. This patient did pass away, although their breathlessness was managed well. It was inevitable due to the extent of the damage to their lungs, that she became breathless, very breathless sometimes. This scared me massively too and for the first time I felt like I needed to quit.
Therefore I started vaping, I vaped between smoking to start with (which for the record is not recommended and has no effect on reducing any risks to anything) after a week I felt that I didn’t really need the tobacco anymore and instead started my weaning journey.

I used nicotine in my vape and when I felt that I was satisfied with what I was having I would drop the dose of nicotine, I continued to do this until I was vaping with no nicotine at all. I then found that often the reason I wanted a cigarette was to get away and think, this was the relaxing part all along, not the nicotine! What I have since found out is that nicotine actually doesn’t help you relax at all! It’s actually the relationship your brain forms with nicotine that relaxes you. So when you smoke it signals to your brain to release dopamine (the happy hormone). This is what is causing the feeling of relation, eventually I found that just using a vape with no nicotine still made me relax!
Eventually just going outside and having a deep breathing session made me feel just as good and I was able to throw in the smoking towel once and for all. I do still have cravings now, if I can’t push past them, I try to identify the stress in my life first, if it’s something I can’t avoid I will use my vape (without nicotine) until the stress has passed, I then get rid of it again. Now days it’s very rare I ever use it in fact I’m not even sure where it is!

Nicotine replacement therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy is fairly straight forward, it works by replacing the nicotine you smoke with a different less toxic method. I guess really e-cigarettes are also part of this, and are given more consideration by the NHS now days. There are serval different methods of using NRT: Patches, gum, mouth sprays, tongue strips, lozenges, and inhalators. I have seen many patients use theses and generally I have noticed that combining the use of a few tends to work better, some are good to get rid of quick cravings while others work more in the background. This is easily accessible by going to your GP and asking for smoking cessation services.


On the note of going to your GP you can also ask to take medication to help you quit. There are some downsides to this, although it may help quit, there are occasionally side effects. This is a small risk with any type of medication, and many people have no side effects. So there’s two different types of medication, Varenicline and Bupropion. Both work in different ways but the best way to determine if you should take medication, and which is the best for you, is to speak to your GP.


Yes, books. I’m not just saying this because I love reading, several of my patients have sworn by one book (or author) in particular. This book is, “The easy Way To Quit Smoking” by Allen Carr, I never thought to read self-help books (I am really not usually the type of person to read them). One of my friends quit forever using this book and nothing else, she said it just totally changed the way she thought about smoking. After having a look through it was not what I expected at all! It has a very different way of thinking about smoking and addiction generally, it was actually quite an interesting read considering I had already quit when I read it. I sound like I’m being paid to promote this book (I am honestly not, it is actually just quite useful).

I honestly now say hands down I am glad I don’t smoke, if it were possible I would implore you to take a walk around the respiratory unit at your local hospital, however it is not possible, I know a lot of patients have even said this to me, that they would become advocates against smoking because of what they have suffered. Any time is a good time to quit, no matter what age it still lengthens your life.


Shank You Very Much

20 Comments Add yours

  1. sara akif says:

    Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Harietto says:

    Thank you for posting this! 🖤 I don’t smoke personally but it’s so important to talk about this issue 🚬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thankyou! yes it is I feel that things have got a bit better recently I have definitely noticed less people smoking now days as opposed to ten years ago x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ova says:

    It’s so much similar to losing weight I think. My mum was trying to quit smoking and I was trying to lose weight and oh the temptations. It definitely requires strong will and being determined!
    I am so glad you don’t smoke anymore, well done! Fab post x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, yeah it is really difficult to kick a habit once you have one! I can definitely vouch that loosing weight isn’t easy especially when you get down to the last few pounds! x


  4. rachaelstray says:

    Huge well done on quitting smoking. The impact of smoking is massive and here in the U.K. we’ve made amazing leaps towards going smokefree.

    I really hope smoking becomes a thing of the past.

    Rachael |

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I hope eventually it will disappear. Its horrible watching what it has done to some of my patients who had no idea of the dangers when they first started and now find it difficult to quit x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rachaelstray says:

        It’s an addiction not a lifestyle choice.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen Dennis says:

    Without wanting to sound like a goody, goody, I have never smoked it has never appealed to me#dreamteam@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always thought I wouldnt take smoking up! I have always been a goody goody too x


  6. Heather Keet says:

    I met Hubster when I was 19 and he had been smoking for about a year. He quit because I wouldn’t date a smoker and I’m so glad he did it. It absolutely has so many related problems other than cancer. Congrats to you for breaking the habit! #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I had had the sense not to start in y the first place when I was younger x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heather Keet says:

        We get older and wiser thankfully!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Daydreamer mum says:

    Great post . My dad died of lung cancer when I was still a kid and have never even contemplated it after that.
    Congratulations someone loved this post so much they added it to our #BlogCrush linky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou, yes I remember hearing something about that on twitter! It’s really an honour that’s someone liked it that much! I know friends who have lost someone to a smoking illness have never touched a cigarette xxx


  8. Thank you so much for this post! Even as a student nurse it is so difficult to see patients nearing the end of life who now struggle with health issues that were caused by smoking in their earlier years. Keep up the good work in nursing sister! What an amazing place you are in… Your past experiences have surely spoken to many patients who are currently struggling to curb the smoking habit. Continue to let your story be used for good, nothing you’ll ever go through is an accident:)
    “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s definitely something that makes me sad especially when they have regrets about it. I hate to see them struggle. Thankyou for reading and I’m glad you found it useful. Good luck in your studies. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gia Aaron says:

    Greetings from World Nursing Congress 2019!

    After a successful conference in 2017, We are proudly announcing the “53rd World Congress on Nursing & Health Care” along with external scientific association with the researchers, delegates, students, post doctorates, faculty, deans around the globe, scheduled on June 21-22, 2019 at Brisbane, Australia.

    Based on your prominence in the field, with great pleasure we would like to invite you for the scientific collaboration with the World Nursing Congress 2019 event, and honour you by offering the position of Organizing Committee Member(OCM)/Speaker/Delegate for the conference.

    The main theme of the conference is “Exploring Innovations and Latest Advancements in Nursing & Health Care”

    For further details please visit:

    Forward your further query.!

    Best regards,
    Gia Aaron | Program Director

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is lovely of you to consider me but I live in England no way id be getting to Australia easily, thankyou anyway

      Liked by 1 person

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