Former asthmatic is celebrating a year smoke free thanks to non-nicotine medication
A Northumberland man is celebrating a smoke free year after breaking a 30-year habit.
David Lightley, 56, from Stakeford, quit smoking with support from the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service.
David, started smoking in his twenties and made the decision to quit to celebrate his retirement. He said: “I smoked for a long time and at one point I smoked as many as 20-a-day. When I retired I wanted to make a fresh start, so I contacted the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Northumberland. Giving up takes a lot of will-power but it made it easier to have their support and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of quitting smoking to contact them.”
David attended his local NHS Stop Smoking clinic once a week for the first month, and then once a fortnight. He used tablets recommended by the advisor which helped him beat the cravings. He said: “I don’t think I would have managed without their help. Probably after a week I would have wanted to go back to smoking, but I can honestly say that I haven’t been tempted.
“I think it is having someone there to support you, and there’s a helpline you can call if you think you might slip. I tried to give up a few years before using the nicotine patches, and although they helped me stop, I went back to it eventually. When I gave up this time I didn’t know about the tablets, but the advisor asked if I wanted to give them a try and they made all the difference for me.Quitting was hard at first, but the tablets really helped me not to want a cigarette and now I know I’ll never go back to it.”
David, a former carer, has diabetes, high blood pressure and developed a related asthma. Although the condition was not attributed to smoking, he knew the habit would not help.
He said: “I knew smoking wasn’t helping my asthma, and it seemed ridiculous to be smoking a cigarette one minute and then using my inhaler the next – it was defeating the point of the medication.
“When I started smoking it was a social thing, everyone seemed to smoke and it was all around me. I didn’t smoke at work but I enjoyed a cigarette with a cuppa when I got home, and I always liked to know that I had a packet on me. If I was running low I would go out for another packet, even late at night and in the pouring rain. Now I feel that quitting has set me free.”
People accessing the service can expect to benefit from free expert NHS advice and a personalised quit plan, as well as prescribed medications to help beat cravings.
Brenda Warner, manager of Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service, urged people to get in contact to find out more about quitting smoking.
She said: “If you want to stop smoking and are considering using an e cigarette, or are confused about which products are licensed as medicines and what to do about your smoking, then we are here to support you. Our NHS
Stop Smoking Service advisors can help you decide on the best evidence-based treatment and tailor a support package just for you. And the good news is people who use their local NHS Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to quit smoking.”
David Lightley used a non-nicotine replacement medication which is a 12-week course of tablets used to help adults stop smoking. The medication helps reduce the craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking. It is one of a range of treatments people can access when they contact their local NHS Stop Smoking Service for support.
For more information on stopping smoking and Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service call 01670 813135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking