FOR asthmatic Wendy Austin, six years of smoking up to 25 cigarettes a day was beginning to take its toll on her health.

Wendy, 24, from Penhill, decided to make it her New Year’s resolution to stub out her habit for good in a bid to protect her own health as well as that of her six-month-old son Michael John Austin-Bucksey.

With the help of NHS Swindon’s Stop Smoking Service, Wendy has been smoke-free for one whole month and is feeling confident that this time it will be forever.

She said: “I feel so much healthier now.

“I walked from Penhill into town the other day, and usually I would be puffing because I am asthmatic as well. But I wasn’t out of breath at all, it really cleared my chest.

“I would recommend it to anyone thinking about giving up, don’t just give in if you feel like you need a cigarette, you will feel so much better about yourself.”

Wendy has been using nicotine patches and quick mist during her first four weeks of quitting and is in regular contact with NHS Swindon, which monitors her progress.

She said: “They have been so helpful and encouraging, I couldn’t have done it without their help. The quick mist is really good, it is like a relief. If you want a cigarette you spray it straight away and, within a minute, that feeling has gone.

“It has been difficult. The worst was when it was my partner’s birthday not long ago and we were having a drink at the pub, and you would usually have a cigarette.

“It can be quite difficult watching him smoke, but he is hoping to quit next year now too.”

Last year, an estimated 35,699 people in the South West quit smoking with the help of the NHS Stop Smoking Service.

The Swindon NHS Stop Smoking Service has a network of advisers across the town who run free advice sessions and can offer practical support and guidance on the best methods for each individual to quit smoking in more than 60 locations.

Contact the Swindon NHS Stop Smoking Service on freephone 0800 389 2229 or text 07827 954094, email, or write to NHS Swindon Stop Smoking Service, North Swindon District Centre, Thamesdown Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN25 4AN.