A day in the life of Campbeltown’s stop smoking adviser

Caroline Glen says it feels 'really rewarding' helping people to stop smoking.
Caroline Glen says it feels 'really rewarding' helping people to stop smoking.

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With No Smoking Day having just passed on Wednesday March 11, many smokers are likely to be considering giving up the habit, and thankfully advisers from Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) are there to help and support them.

Campbeltown-based Caroline Glen is one of those advisers, and has more than six years’ experience. She provides Quit Your Way Stop Smoking services to people living in the area, and the support and services she delivers helps people to change their lifestyle behaviour and facilitate changes to improve their health and wellbeing.

Caroline is skilled in listening to clients, offering advice and  explanations about the support and services to help people on their journey to becoming smoke-free.

She is also trained to engage, influence and persuade others, while motivating them to reach their goal of quitting smoking. She continues to develop her skills and recently completed new national stop smoking advisor training held at the University of Stirling.

Caroline had a No Smoking Day display in Campbeltown Health Centre on Wednesday to celebrate with community members who sought support to help them quit smoking.

She said: ‘I encourage people to never start smoking in the first place because evidence shows that most people who already smoke want to stop.

‘I provide a non-judgemental service and really looking forward to meeting members of the community to offer tips about stopping smoking and information on local services and free medications.’

Caroline enjoys helping people to stop smoking successfully and overcome their smoke-free challenges. She also highlighted the improvement that quitting smoking makes in to people’s lives.

She also runs a weekly clinic at Campbeltown Dental Centre and makes scheduled visits to deliver Smoke-Free sessions at Campbeltown Library too.

Caroline continued: ‘I enjoy meeting new people and spending one-to-one time with people wanting to stop smoking. It can feel like a really big step coming to meet with me, so I always ensure that clients feel welcomed, supported and most importantly listened to.

‘I always explain that the NHS Quit Your Way Stop Smoking Service is free, support is generally provided over a 12-week programme and I will see them regularly to provide support and review their progress.

‘I work with my clients to find out how to successfully help them stop. It’s important to explore the client’s thoughts on stopping smoking, their experiences as well as their smoking habits. I also talk through and explain the medications available, discuss what would best for them and I arrange for these to be prescribed by their doctor or through the local pharmacy.’

Caroline offers to measure clients’ carbon monoxide readings, which is the poisonous chemical produced by smoking tobacco. Carbon monoxide is measured by breathing into a tube; the reading shows just how much is in their body and often clients find this a real motivating factor, especially when they see how much the reading goes down when they have stopped for a few days.

Caroline’s clients feedback that stopping smoking with her help has produced great health benefits to themselves and others, as well as saving money which is another motivating factor for them to quit.

Evidence shows that people are four times more likely to stop smoking when supported by a stop smoking adviser.

‘It feels really rewarding to know that our work makes such a big difference,’ Caroline said, ‘and I would encourage anyone thinking about stopping to get in touch.’

Caroline can be contacted by emailing caroline.glen@nhs.net or calling 01586 555372.

Alternatively, smoking cessation specialist Jill Denton, who covers Mid Argyll, Islay and Kintyre, can be contacted by emailing jill.denton@nhs.net or calling 07707 868351.