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A pinkie promise to her granddaughter and support from QEII Hospital has inspired 58-year-old Gaylene Jones to quit smoking.
A former pack-a-day smoker, Gaylene tried to quit 10 times over the past 15 years but kept failing due to a lack of support and motivation.
“I’ve tried to quit so many times before, but each time the stress would get to me and I’d turn back to cigarettes,” she said.
Six months ago when Gaylene was referred to QEII Hospital her mindset changed.
“I was at QEII Hospital for a physio appointment and they asked me if I’d like support to quit smoking. I was surprised and delighted that they could offer me that,” she said.
“Only a couple of days earlier my granddaughter had asked me when I was going to quit smoking and begged me to pinkie promise that I would quit, so I said yes.”
In a multidisciplinary venture, the QEII Physiotherapy Musculoskeletal Management Clinic (MMC) and Smoking Cessation Clinical Pathway Project established the Smoking Cessation Pharmacist Clinic in January 2017, allowing the MMC Advanced Physiotherapists to refer patients directly to the clinic.
QEII Hospital Pharmacist Deepali Gupta provided Gaylene with the education and support she needed to quit.
“The Smoking Cessation Clinical Pathway supports patients to quit in a number of ways. We help them identify reasons for quitting and encourage them to replace cigarettes with a nicotine replacement,” she said.
“This year we worked with the QEII MMC to establish the Smoking Cessation Pharmacist Clinic. The clinic provides tools such as carbon monoxide monitoring and ongoing support to help patients identify goals to stay motivated which are crucial to a successful quit attempt.
“At the moment the clinic is provided to QEII MMC patients only, but if it continues to be so successful it would be great to provide the service to other departments and facilities also.”
Gaylene said she was planning to take an overseas vacation with her two sons and granddaughter with the money she saved from not smoking.
“Deepali showed me this app where I can track my progress and it helps keep me motivated. Since quitting I’ve saved nearly $2,500 and I’m putting that all away for a vacation with my family,” she said.
Gaylene’s health has also improved.
“The app also shows me that I’ve stopped 21,119mg of tar from going into my lungs—that’s amazing,” she said.
“I no longer wake up in the mornings coughing and I can taste food better and smell better too.
“Each winter I normally have bronchitis and it hasn’t happened this year.”
Though the results were worth it, Gaylene said it wasn’t easy to quit.
“It wasn’t a walk in the park to quit. There were times even on the patches where I really felt like a smoke. But having that support from QEII was really good, and seeing my oxygen results improve at my appointments really motivated me,” she said.
“I really encourage others to access the program if they can, especially if you are going into hospital. It’s the perfect time to work on all areas of your health.”
The Smoking Cessation Clinical Pathway is a Metro South Health project run at Princess Alexandra, QEII, Logan, Beaudesert and Redland hospitals.