A Personal Story

Many people working in the field of smoking cessation have a personal connection to the problems caused by smoking, one that often highlights the importance of kicking the habit. 

For Rory James MacLaren-Jackson it was his mother’s diagnosis of oral cancer in 2011 after 30+ years of light-moderate tobacco smoking.

I think it’s easy to think of cancer, and especially smoking-related cancers, as something that happens to ‘other people’. When it hits so close to home, it’s a reminder of the devastating effect of not just the illness but also the gruelling regime of treatment. In my mother’s case this was both chemotherapy and radiotherapy targeting her mouth and throat. The latter was especially painful and for over a year she was confined to a liquid diet, such was her inability to eat solid food and swallow.

I think one of the most awful parts of the experience for me personally was hearing my mother, at her lowest points during treatment and recovery, say how she felt like giving up, that her quality of life was so poor, she barely wanted to live at all.

We all see the shocking images on the back of cigarette packets and often we become almost desensitised to them. But behind every photo is a story like my mother’s. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room on the back of a packet to list the diary of tears, heartache and trauma that accompanies just one person’s illness, let alone the stories of the millions affected worldwide by the effects of smoking.

Fortunately, my mother didn’t give up, she beat her cancer and of this I am immensely proud. Her recovery continues each day, benefiting from stop smoking hypnotherapy as well as ongoing help to overcome the side effects of the treatment.

During her many hospital appointments we would see the building of The Shard at the foot of Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. She was determined she would live long enough to see it built, so it was a wonderful day in early 2013 when the viewing area of the building was opened and we both visited. Free from cigarettes, free from cancer, it was an emotional moment to see her look out across at London at a view she thought she might never see.

In the long run, smoking brings nothing but pain and misery, so whether you decide to quit for yourself, or for your family and friends, you know deep down you have to do this.

Whether you choose to stop smoking with our help, or try and stop with any other method, I truly hope you decide to take action today and save yourself, and your family, from the misery smoking brings.