I get breakfast and organise my son (seven) for school before travelling to my smoking cessation clinic in Naas, where, on average, two new clients join the programme each session. Generally I see a client once a week for six weeks.
The programme is standardised, evidence-based and follows best practice. Attending a clinic or group doubles a person’s chances of quitting and smokers are four times more likely to quit and remain so if they use a licensed smoking cessation aid like NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy ) or Champix and attend intensive support.
I see clients on a one-to-one basis at clinics in Celbridge and Naas. Clinics and groups run by the HSE are free of charge (see www.quit.ie.) I also run six-week smoking cessation groups. Many participants have underlying chronic conditions such as heart disease or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
I catch up on emails and respond to urgent queries. I carry out follow-up calls with smokers who are in the programme to assess progress. I need to complete of two-, three- and 12-month follow-up calls with clients and update their records.
Grab a quick lunch and go for a short walk. Every Monday we do 20–30 minutes of mindfulness which I find beneficial to my mental health.
to the local mental health residential service to meet with the service manager, director of nursing, and clinical director about implementing a tobacco-free campus policy.
The policy is being implemented on a phased basis across the HSE. It aims to provide routine support for anyone who comes in contact with our services to quit smoking: by prescribing cessation support medications, providing access to counselling support, and making the environment or grounds of the health service smoke free.
I also advise them about the national Brief Intervention Smoking Cessation training for their staff that I facilitate with a colleague in Naas Hospital, four times a year.
I organise dinner and check homework before taking my son to swimming lessons. Then it’s time for the usual boring house work, with help from my husband, followed by some light entertainment on TV.
n If you’re a smoker: You can QUIT with help from the HSE: Freephone 1800 201 203 Freetext QUIT to 50100