How to succeed in quitting smoking and stabalise your COPD
COPD

picture testimonial
/static/themes-v3/default/images/default/opinion/temoignage/intro.jpg?1516194360

Quitting smoking, a fight against COPD

With emphysema and severe COPD level 4, our French member member ledalle managed to quit smoking 6 years ago, without relapse, when he had been a smoker since he was 16. He has agreed to tell us about his journey of quitting smoking, thanks to patches, psychological follow-ups and a good dose of determination!

How did you find out you had COPD? What was your tobacco consumption? 

Following repeated bronchitis, I was diagnosed with COPD level 2. When I started smoking, I was 16 years old; when I was diagnosed, I was 54 years old and I was at a pack of 20 cigarettes a day.

[Smoking is the cause of 90% of COPD, editor's note]

Did a healthcare professional immediately advise you to stop smoking? 

A pulmonologist had advised me to stop and had me followed by my attending physician. The decision to stop was not immediate for me, because I didn't take it very seriously...Still,  I feared the warnings of the pulmonologist. So I talked to my doctor, who helped me try to quit smoking.

How did you stop smoking?

I started with the patches, for a 6-month program with the follow-up of the general practitioner and his advice. At the end of my treatment with the patches, I was still smoking 4 cigarettes a day, so I went to see my pneumologist again, very happy with myself... Only, after the diagnosis, he told me that I could no longer even smoke one cigarette a day because my COPD is at level 4 severe. here is no other solution to stabilise the disease which was now very severe.

So I opted for the e-cigarette, zero nicotine. The advantage is the taste isn't that great so you don't become addicted to the e-cigarette. No more ashtrays, lighters or cigarettes at home. The taste being unpleasant, and having nothing else, I vaporised less and less and less and I avoided smoking places. I started riding my bike. My general practitioner gave me some painkillers to help me and I had the bike to let off steam in the wild.

Have your loved ones helped you in your journey?

In my house, no one smokes and everyone encouraged me. It was great to help me. I had also told my co-workers that I was quitting smoking and I refused coffee breaks with smokers.

What was the hardest thing to stop? What were the obstacles?

The hardest part is to keep up the first 6 days, and for that I was busy doing a lot of things, it started to get easier after 1 week by staying on my guard. After I stopped using the electronic cigarette, I had nothing left, and then I felt stressed. My general practitioner helped me with some remedies to stay zen.

Have you gained weight after quitting smoking? This scares many patients.

I didn't gain a kilo! I must say that rather than smoking, I was cycling.

How long have you stopped smoking? How do you feel physically and morally?

It will be 6 years on November 23rd that I no longer smoke. That's right, we remember the first time we didn't smoke! Today, I'm living again! While suffering from COPD, still stabilised thanks to the cessation of tobacco, I can taste flavours again because I no longer had a palate ruined with tobacco. I appreciate all the good smells whose perfume I had forgotten... On the other hand, cold tobacco now bothers me and I can no longer handle a person who has a tobacco breath!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to quit smoking?

To quit smoking, you must first want to quit strongly and then be followed psychologically and by those around you. Above all, you have to look at the advantages and disadvantages because... it's clear as day!

Many thanks to ledalle for sharing his experience with us. Have you experienced the same thing? How did you manage to smoke or what are your barriers? Feel free to comment on this testimony to discuss it!

avatar
on 11/8/18

Congratulations. Support is vital and I'm pleased you had plenty of it .

avatar
on 11/8/18

I gave smoking up in 1991 years just got up on morning and dessided to give up and went to the chemist  and ask what they had to give up andthere was some capsulescalled nickobrefine think that's how you spell it and in  2 week later i had given up and never looked back I was diagnosed with COPD  in  2014 but I am learning to live with it now with everything else I have wrong with me 

avatar
on 11/8/18

I gave up smoking the day I was rushed to hospital with breathing problems. It frightened me so much I vowed I would never smoke again. I did it cold turkey and haven't looked back. It's been ten years since I was diagnosed, the first two years I had infection after infection. The consultant said it would settle down and it did.  Try to eat healthy and keep moving to keep myself well.

avatar
on 11/9/18

I was diagnosed some time after giving up cigarettes , I am still only mild ten years on from diagnosis, however when it is bad I find my painkillers help the breathing they are opiods.I used the NHS patch course but had given up at other times and gone back . I have never smoked now since 2006 and have also gone through a lung cancer scare. I would say take each day as it comes and never give up on quitting, but it is easy if you can avoid smoking environments in the beginning. 

avatar
on 11/9/18

@Hidden username @Hidden username @Hidden username @Hidden username Thank you all for sharing your stories, giving up smoking can truly be a battle and sometimes it takes a scare or health issues to really push you to stop. Welldone to you all!

avatar
on 11/12/18

I have smoked    FROM THE AGE OF TEN  MY CHILDHOOD  WAS A LIVING HELL        

NEVER WHENT TO SCHOOL  ENDED UP IN CHILDREN HOME THEN BORSTAL  THEN PRISON   MANAGED TO BRAKE THE CYCLE  BUT I STILL FIGHT MY DEMONS  

OF MY PAST IAM SEEKING THERAPY     AND THE ONLY CONSTANT IN MY LIFE  THAT KEPT ALIVE BUT KILLING ME IS SMOKING WHEN ALL HOPE WAS GONE HOMELESS  STARVING   I COULD Have A CIGARETTE AND A MUG OF TEA  AND I Could TAKE ON THE World   YES I AM A HOPELESS  ADDICT    PS I HAVE TRIED ALL THE ALTERNATIVE BUT TO NO AVAIL 

avatar
on 11/12/18

@Hidden username‍ Thank you for sharing your story and welldone on breaking the cycle.

avatar
on 11/18/18

I smoked from the age of 11 years old, I started at senior school and travelled to school on the school bus, to get in with the older boys I would have a few puffs on a cigarette on the way to school and again on the way home in the afternoon. As time went on and I got older I would buy a pack of 10 cigarettes and they would last me till the middle of the week then buy some more. When I left school at 15, I was told by my step father that I was old enough to leave school and get a job. I finished school on a Friday and started work on the following Monday. 

That was it I was an adult???? or so I thought. I moved into lodgings in a nearby town and settled into work. I smoked as and when I felt like having one. As time went on, I smoked more and more until I would smoke a pack of 20 in a day easily. Sometimes when I was 'legally' old enough to drink alcohol I would go out on a Friday and Saturday night and go through 40 cigarettes each night. 'MADNESS'. That was back in the early 1970's. Life went on and I had a few different jobs 2 wives then single for quite a while. 

I wanted to earn 'big bucks', so I took my HGV group one licence and drove an Arctic Truck all over the UK and then it was off to France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It was great, but I SMOKED MY HEAD OFF, cigarettes were so so cheap that I could go through 2 or 3 packs of 20 a day. I found that if I was in a large city like London or Madrid that I would concentrate on where I was going much more and as a consequence I smoked 'like a trooper'

In 2003 I met who turned out to be my soul mate, and in 2009 I decided that after having a second heart attack I was going to give up smoking. I went to the GP and had the usual talk on How its damaging my health etc, etc. I went home and set a date that I was going to stop smoking which was 30 days’ time I would get up in the mornings and say 'Well it's 10 days or look it's only 7 days to go and so on. On the 27th morning I went to the back door to go outside for a smoke, I looked at my Tobacco tin and said, Nah I don't want this, and believe me or believe me not, I haven't touched a cigarette since. That was 9 years ago. No medication, No Patches, No Vape's NO NOTHING just WILL POWER.

IF I CAN GIVE UP THEN ANYBODY CAN.

avatar
on 12/15/18

I have never smoked as my dad put me and middle sister off smoking when we were little as he would pretend to offer us a cigarette and say "come on have a try it will only make you cough (or something along them lines anyway)" and me and my middle sister would say ",no daddy. No daddy". My mum sort of blames our dad for our youngest sister and brother smoking as he didn't put them off smoking like he did with us older two.

Myself, my middle sister and our mum got asthma through passive smoking off my dad. My middle sister's asthma has cleared up, but me n our mum have still got asthma.