An Oxfordshire woman has got her smile back after kicking her 60-a-day habit.

Two decades after quitting, Sarah from South Oxfordshire says she continues to benefit from the life-changing decision.

Now in her 60s, Sarah encourages others to quit smoking, citing the support available through Oxfordshire County Council.

Sarah began smoking as a teenager with her peers, when the habit was considered fashionable.

She detailed her experience saying: "I was very much into the pub and club scene when growing up and smoking went hand in hand with drinking and dancing."

Fitness enthusiast Sarah initially aimed to reduce smoking to improve her fitness.

However, a visit to her dentist in her forties accentuated the damage smoking had done.

"Ironically, I was also very much into my fitness at that time and regularly attended aerobic classes and gym sessions.

"I was starting to get a bit wheezy while using some of the cardiac equipment and thought it would be helpful if I cut down.

"But the main reason I quit was because I lost most of my top teeth due to gum disease," Sarah shared.

Her smile was restored through a costly dental surgery which necessitated a complete cessation of smoking.

She noticed a distinct improvement in her overall health after quitting.

Sarah said: "I am now a fairly healthy weight and am very active.

"I attend a gym two to three times a week and go hiking regularly with friends and with local rambler groups, walking between 20 to 30 miles a week. I’m pretty sure I would have been unable to do that if I had carried on smoking 60 cigarettes a day!

"I now absolutely detest the smell of smoking."

Multiple therapies including patches, gum and lozenges aided Sarah in quitting, and she supports Stop for Life Oxon—Oxfordshire County Council’s smoking cessation service—as a key resource.

"I would urge anyone trying to quit to seek help of that kind," she said.

Quit-smoking resources are available to Oxfordshire residents, and may include coaching, complimentary rechargeable vape kits and nicotine replacement therapy for up to 12 weeks.

Stop for Life Oxon has already assisted thousands to quit smoking using these tools.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s director for public health, stressed the impact on oral health: "People that smoke are at a higher risk of gum disease, staining, tooth loss—like Sarah suffered—and mouth cancer.

"We know how daunting it can be for people to give up smoking.

"Our Stop for Life Oxon service provides free support."

To learn more about the support available to quit smoking, contact Stop for Life Oxon or visit their website.