‘We’ve had children under 16 come to us for support’

Georgina Barclay from Phoenix Stop Smoking Service
Georgina Barclay from Phoenix Stop Smoking Service
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Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service has helped thousands of people to quit smoking across the area. Indeed, figures show smokers are four times more likely to quit if they seek the help of a support service like Phoenix.

Here, advisor Georgina Barclay speaks about the support they provide – and the types of cases they see.

From those who have spent most of their lives heavily smoking to children seeking help away from their parents, the Phoenix team are able to help all to kick the habit.

“We do see a lot of smokers over the age of 50 who have been smoking 40-50 cigarettes a day,” said Georgina. “While we do get very heavy smokers we do adapt our methods to the individual and their own particular circumstances.”

The service has even seen children under 16 seeking confidential help.

“We have had some who are worried about telling their parents – but also some adults whose wives and husbands don’t know they smoke. We maintain a completely confidential, non-judgemental service no-matter what their age or circumstance. Our aim is simply to get people to give up smoking.”

While January is a popular time for people to quit bad habits or take up healthy new ones, Georgina said the Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service is consistently busy throughout the year.

“Thanks to no smoking campaigns – like Stoptober in October and the No Smoking Day in March – we get a pretty steady amount throughout, which is great,” she said. “We are always busy and we like it that way as we want to help as many people as possible.”

Asked what her thoughts on people giving up with the help of vapourisers, she said: “We are not allowed as a service to give any advice on vapes as they are not regulated at the moment. However, it’s not that we don’t want to see them because we do, and we are happy to see people who are using vapes. We have had people who have quit smoking whilst using them.”

Appointments for a first-time visit usually take around 45 minutes - where advisors will check a person’s medical and smoking history, whether they have tried to quit before and why they want to quit now. These and other details are used to formulate a new quitting plan to steer them on the road to giving up for good.

“We also take a carbon monoxide reading at each session which is a great motivational boost to see how that comes down,” said Georgina.

“After not smoking for two days their carbon monoxide reading is the same as a non-smokers.”

The advisors can see people face-to-face or hold sessions over the phone, but appointments must be booked. They also have an advisor at Pilgrim Hospital every day who goes around the wards offering help to smokers.

The Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service covers the whole county with local clinics held at the Johnson Hospital in Spalding on Mondays 9am-5pm and Tuesdays 9am-8pm and at Holbeach health centre on alternate Thursdays 9am-5pm.

* To find out more about the service, visit their Facebook page ‘Phoenix NHS Stop Smoking Service’ or call 01522 574200.