CUTTING down rather than going cold turkey has helped Stephanie Caplen to quit smoking.
The 56-year-old used to smoke up to 45 cigarettes a day, costing her a small fortune.
Stephanie, of Purbrook Way, Leigh Park, had tried to quit before, but would only last a few weeks.
Now she has been smoke-free for six weeks after taking part in a Quit4Life cutdown programme.
Stephanie said: ‘I tried before to just stop smoking, but it never lasted long.
‘Then I got a call from the service to see if I wanted to try cutting back first, before quitting altogether.’
Stephanie received help from the Quit4Life service, which is run by Southern Health NHS Trust, and is in Park Parade, Leigh Park.
With the centre’s help, Stephanie went from 45 cigarettes a day to 19, then to 10, followed by seven, then three, and then stopping altogether.
Now she is urging other smokers who are interested in stopping the habit, to get help.
It comes today as the government announces running a new television advertising campaign to encourage people to quit smoking in the new year.
‘I felt different this time and knew I could do it,’ added Stephanie.
‘The support I got from the hub was brilliant. I’m feeling the benefits already.
‘I have saved enough money to buy two kittens and the carbon monoxide levels in me have also been reduced.’
In Fareham, 1,425 people signed up to quit with the service, with 44 per cent – 629 – actually stopping.
Gosport has seen a 46 per cent success rate, as 816 of the 1,771 people using the service have stubbed out the habit.
And Havant also has a success rate of 46 per cent, with 813 out of 1,765 service users successfully stopping.
In Portsmouth, stop smoking services are provided by Solent NHS Trust.
Between April and October this year, PompeyQuit has seen 1,253 individuals use its service and set up a ‘quit date’ through the help and support of advisors.
Of these users 779 – 63 per cent – have been successful in stopping smoking after a month of help.