ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Guernsey's Smoking "Quitline" Expelled Us!

Updated on November 27, 2016

I guess looking back it seems quite funny now, but at the time I was furious when Guernsey's Quitline expelled us for failing to quit smoking in the first few weeks of using Nicotine patches.

My Husband Richard and I had joined the local Guernsey Quitline group in an attempt to stop smoking once and for all. It was to be the second time we had tried, the first time I had lasted six months using Zyban tablets, but was back on the cigarettes after losing my job and having had a pregnancy termination I bitterly regretted. Richard has been less successful still, and had never made it to the six month point, and after a year or so of smoking again we were now keen to have another try.

Guernsey's Quitline doesn't seem to operate the same as a UK support group as far as I can tell, and whilst they had been quite helpful when they put us on the Zyban the first time round, we were to have a very different experience on our second attempt to give up smoking.

On the second set of sessions we initially decided to try the patches method as opposed to the latest drug "Champix" (also called Chantix in some countries). There was little point in trying the Zyban again, as for some weird reason it never seems to work second time around, and all the things it made you hate about each cigarette before, (such as the nasty taste Zyban gave them), no longer seem to apply.

It quickly became apparent that patches simply weren't going to work for me, so I returned to Quitline and asked if I could try the Champix instead. Having got the slip of paper from them that enabled me to then go to my Doctor and get the Champix prescribed, I started to take them daily. Richard meanwhile was trying to persevere with the patches, but not being overly successful.

Once I got to the stage on the Champix course where I was meant to stop the smoking I did, albeit only for a few days. I soon found that the Champix were not nearly as good as my original course of Zyban had been. In the meantime Richard was back to smoking about 4 cigarettes a day, and before long so was I, (although this was still a vast improvement on the 20 - 30 per day we had both been smoking previously). Each week I attended our Quitline session as required to entitle me to the Champix, and each time I honestly completed the questionnaire that asked me if I had smoked in the previous week. Richard had missed some sessions, but when possible he had gone to a day time session in his lunch hour from work.

Realising that we would never be successful in quitting smoking if things carried on the way they were, I urged Richard to go to a further session at the St Peter Port branch of Quitline and ask them to put him on to either Zyban or Champix too, as I was certain these would have a far better chance of "curing" him than patches would, and then we could work on quitting smoking together as a couple. I knew Zyban had failed for Richard in the past, but this had been due to him playing "catch up" to me at the time, and therefore trying to stop smoking from day one on the Zyban (which is not how they work). This time I wanted him to do it properly.

Well, Richard dutifully went to the town branch of Quitline and asked to be put on to the Champix or the Zyban. You can imagine my surprise when he arrived home and said they had told him he couldn't have the prescription because he had failed to stop smoking using the nicotine patches!!! I have to confess I truly believed he had got it wrong somehow, and so I waited until my normal Wednesday evening session at the Quitline based at the local Princess Elizabeth Hospital, and took him with me to see if we could get the tablets given to him also.

As soon as we arrived and walked through the door of the portacabin that serves as the "Quitline Meeting Room", the lady who was taking that evening's session stopped talking to the one and only client she had in the "room", said "excuse me a moment" to her, and then proceeded to turn to us and talk to us in a way only a school teacher reprimanding a naughty schoolchild would. Essentially the dialogue went as follows:

Lady, looking at Richard: "My colleague has already told you that we can't give you anything else as you have continued to smoke".

Me, : "Well what about me then?"

Lady, : "You are just as bad, you have admitted that you are still smoking too".

Me, : "Yes, but only about 4 per day compared to what I used to smoke".

Lady, : "Sorry, but we don't want to add to the local tax hole by giving you subsidised drugs and you have failed to honour your commitment by continuing to smoke. We can't give you anything else for six months now"

and that was it, all we could do was turn around and leave. I was so angry, okay, sure, we might have failed, but did she need to humiliate us in front of this other woman, not to mention the two people behind us who arrived at the same time as we did. Also had she missed the point that cigarettes are so highly taxed that any we were still smoking due to weakness on our part were actually helping to fill the local governments tax black hole not add to it!!

To me this didn't feel like counselling at all, as surely if it was they would be talking to us about why we still felt a need to smoke, what was going on in our minds, what we could do to physically beat the cravings etc.... and even if they couldn't offer us drugs, patches, inhalators etc, they could surely have offered verbal counselling as part of the group in much the same way as Alcoholics Anonymous do for their clients. Where was their attempt to do their jobs and try to support us when we were struggling to quit smoking? No-where is the answer, we were only going to make their success rates look bad by not having proven to be an instant success story. To then be both patronised and humiliated in front of strangers was also enough to drive us towards both wanting and even needing a cigarette after we left her condescending presence.

So yes, we left feeling truly let down. We could have lied and claimed we were still smoke free each week, (as long as we didn't smoke for a few hours before each session), but our own honesty backfired badly, and essentially we were expelled from Quitline, or at the very least suspended for six months. I swore blind at that moment I would never, ever, go back there again in order to stop smoking as they had no clue how to deal with, or support, people with this smoking addiction who found giving up harder than they had anticipated. Instead we both quickly began smoking back at our old levels of 20 plus ciggies a day each.

Ultimately fate took pity on us, and whilst scrolling through hubpages (fag in hand no doubt), I came across the hub by Lela Bryan about her Nicotine Solutions Course and how it had a 90% success rate in spite of no drugs, patches, hypnosis etc being required. Apparently it had been going since 1974 when Lela herself gave up smoking and had then worked out exactly what was needed within a stop smoking course to ensure success.

At this point I had nothing to lose, and in spite of being quite sceptical I posted on her hub begging for help. The rest is history as many of you know, but for those who don't, I am now a year down the line, smoke free thanks to Lela, and thankfully I never needed to go back to the Guernsey Quitline that had failed us so badly. To be honest they could take a massive leaf out of Lela's book if they want to have high success rates, and truly earn their wages by genuinely helping people to stop smoking in a supportive way, and not by simply relying on artificial stimulants and drugs that they then just monitor their client's progress on, (apparently with little idea of what to do if the drugs fail and more basic methods are needed).


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)