My name is Caroline Miller and I am the new specialist stop smoking practitioner for pregnancy based at Leighton Hospital. I am also a practising midwife.
There is strong evidence that reducing smoking in pregnancy reduces the likelihood of stillbirth. It also impacts positively on many other smoking-related pregnancy complications such as premature birth, miscarriage, low birth-weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Whether or not a woman smokes during her pregnancy has a far reaching impact on the health of the child throughout his or her life.
The national guidance wants to get the smoking at time of delivery rate down to 6% by 2022. Currently at Leighton Hospital this can be as high as 18-20% so there is a lot of work to do.
There was no one in the role before me for a few months so this has meant starting at the beginning.
I have already managed to set up clinics at the antenatal clinic and children’s centre in Crewe and am also visiting ladies at home. I have been promoting the service as much as I can.
I liaise closely with the midwives so they are confident in referring the women to see me. I have also joined a smoking focus group chaired by a consultant obstetrician who are working towards reducing the smoking rate in pregnant women.
I can also see partners of the pregnant ladies and staff members at Leighton Hospital as it works towards smoke free status.
I hope that I can have a positive impact in my role and see the smoking rates reduce so that our women, babies and families benefit from a healthier lifestyle in the future.
Kickstart Specialist Stop Smoking Service attended the Tour of Britain event at Tatton Park at the beginning of September alongside colleagues from Peaks and Plains Housing Trust to promote the service.
It was a great success and many people stopped by showing particular interest in the display illustrating the harm cigarettes cause to the inside of our bodies. We also had lots of questions about vaporisers and were able to offer advice.
If you would like further information about how you can quit please contact us on freephone 0800 085 8818. We look forward to helping you!
Catriona Holden Kickstart Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioner attended a wellbeing event for staff at Macclesfield hospital in July 2016.
Her stand included demonstration models of how smoking effects your health and was available to answer any questions relating to smoking and trying to stop. She also gave up to date information on the use of e-cigs in helping to quit smoking and what support is available to help you to quit.
If you would like further information about quitting, please call us on freephone 0800 085 8818.
After smoking 10 cigarettes a day for over 50 years I found myself on the cardiac unit at Macclesfield hospital having had a heart attack.
Catriona came to see me on the ward to discuss trying to stop smoking.
My mind had been made up that I would try to stop even though deep down I had my reservations as I had enjoyed my cigarettes.
After going through the options available I went home with nicotine patches and gum and Catriona phoned me regularly to keep supporting me through the early days.
Twelve months on I am still smoke free and feel so much better for it. Thankyou, Mrs M.
Catriona, Secondary Care Practitioner says ‘it was great to speak to and support Freda as she was always so positive and upbeat and I am really pleased she has managed to quit smoking’.
First of all I accessed Stop Smoking Service in 2014 because it offered support in Polish which was a big help. I stopped smoking for a few months but then some health problems started to pile up on me. I got diagnosed with psychosis and knew little about it, struggled a lot with stopping smoking at that time. I came back to the clinic again nearly a year later but nothing seemed to be going right way for me then again. My advisor kept supporting me despite all of my ups and downs. NRT was always helpful but talking about the habits and reasons for my smoking were precious. So now it’s two years after my first visit in the Kickstart clinic and I’ve been quit for over 9 weeks now and I’ve not felt so good about myself for ages. I’m only taking little steps but I feel that’s the right way to do it.
I started smoking at age 14. It was learned behaviour from my parents, who were also heavy smokers. It essentially ended up killing them both, my father in 1989 at the age of 58 (massive heart attack) and my mother last year at the age of 77 (cancer). I smoked for 32 years and knew it wasn’t doing me any good, but I neither had the willpower or the desire to give up until late last year, when I found out one of my childhood friends had died from a heart attack. This caused me to seriously examine how much I had been smoking, so over a few days last September I noted down how many cigarettes I was smoking per day. On the first day it was 94, the second day was 87 and the third day was 92. After the third day, I knew I had to do something, so I bought a cheap e-cigarette.
This first e-cigarette lasted me about four months before it died, but by that time I was ready for an upgrade anyway so I ended up buying a box mod, which I still have to this day. I started on the cheap e-cigarette in mid-September last year while still smoking cigarettes, but as the months went by, I began to smoke less and less and vape more. In February this year I completely stopped smoking and started reducing my e-cig nicotine dose. I started off on 3.6mg, today I’m down to 0.3mg.
I feel so much better. I’ve put some weight on but this is to be expected when giving up smoking, but I’m no longer breathless when climbing the stairs and can once again taste my food. The invention of the e-cigarette is one of the best things that’s ever happened for me, and I just wanted the people you’re helping to know it IS possible to leave the cigarettes behind. I will very soon be giving up the vaping too once I get down to 0mg nicotine, and if I ever feel tempted to smoke again, I will pick up the e-cigarette before lighting another cigarette.