Karen's story

Left to right: Jackie Dunbar, Sheila Duffy, Karen Adams
Left to right: Jackie Dunbar, Sheila Duffy, Karen Adams

Karen Adam is celebrating 18 months of being tobacco-free by backing ASH Scotland’s campaigning urging people who smoke to make attempts to give up and win with their health and fitness, family and finances.

The Member of the Scottish Parliament for Banffshire and Buchan Coast is supporting our ‘Quit and win’ campaign, which is highlighting that giving up smoking increases opportunities to live a healthier life and an average smoker who gives up tobacco will save more than £3,000 within 12 months.

Karen, who used to smoke around 20 cigarettes a day, made several attempts using various methods over the years to give up smoking before finally succeeding through personal determination in September 2022.

Karen said: “I started to feel ill and horrible when smoking – experiencing general sluggishness, wheezing and migraines. Through my work as Co-Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Heart and Circulatory Diseases, I became increasingly acutely aware of the risks smoking posed to my health.

“I often recalled the death of my mother, who also smoked, following a heart attack at the age of 49. I will be 49 this year and became determined to give up smoking as my children need me to be healthy.

“I got to the point when smoking what turned out to be my last cigarette, the realisation I was poisoning myself so I just put it out and, exercising sheer willpower, haven’t smoked since. I feel empowered and no longer a slave to smoking, as I’m healthier, mentally sharper and more energetic.

“I am pleased to be supporting ASH Scotland’s ‘Quit and win’ campaign and urge anyone who is thinking about giving up smoking to do it in your own time, and in ways that work best personally best for you.”

Anyone in Scotland who has the goal of giving up smoking can visit Quit Your Way Scotland by clicking the button below, or call the free helpline on 0800 848484. Run by NHS 24, they provide tailored advice to help you stop in a way that suits you.

"I feel empowered and no longer a slave to smoking, as I’m healthier, mentally sharper and more energetic."

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