Richard quits smoking with Yorkshire Smokefree Doncaster

Please tell us approximately how old you were when you started smoking?

I was about 15 years old.

How many years did you smoke?

I was smoking for about 46 years, which is three quarters of my life!

Do you remember why you started smoking?

Everyone else was smoking and I no longer placed the restriction on myself as I'd always refrained due to me doing so well in my running.

How many cigarettes per day were you smoking on average?

46 - 50+ cigarettes a day!

What were your reasons for quitting?

A near death experience. I was advised by Mr Kumar that would be the last time I would ever get away with it. I thought when I was taken into hospital on Boxing Day morning, I wouldn't be here to see New Years.

How did you access stop smoking support?

One to one.

How would you rate the support you received out of 10?


Did you use stop smoking products to help you quit?

Yes, I tried the mouth spray couldn't get on with it, so now I use the NRT gum.

How helpful did you find them?

I would not have been able to quit without the gum.

Apart from products, what else helped you to quit and stay smokefree?

I've been at the side of my mother in law who died from lung cancer.

Has your health improved since you quit and, if so, in what ways?

Dramatically! I don't wake up any longer thinking I'm drowning (due to the fluid collecting on my lungs overnight). I used to have to sit on the bed for 10 minutes before I could even move. My jumpy leg has stopped, and my circulation has improved.

Have you achieved anything since quitting that you couldn't do whilst smoking?

Wounds caused by Raynaud’s Disease have begun to heal. I can walk further, last week when I left here and I walked up the village, Conisborough has 7 hills, and I managed them which is a big achievement!

What do you like about not smoking?

It's like a release from a commitment I didn't want. I feel I'm free at last and I have taken back control of my life and potentially increased the length of it. 

Do you know how much money you have saved by not smoking?

Since I stopped smoking, we have purchased an American Fridge Freezer and saving around £100 a week!

Do you have plans to treat yourself with the money saved?

Yes, undecided yet (we need to sort out passports first!)

What would you say to anyone who has recently started smoking, or, if you could go bcak in time, what would you tell your younger self before you smoked that first cigarette?

I wouldn't tell them anything, I would show them myself at Christmas last year.

At 62 years, I have finished working as I can no longer do it. Because of smoking, I have to take blood thinning tablets and I've had gangrene which resulted in me losing half a toe. All of this and a heart attack when I was 51, it still didn't stop me smoking because you convince yourself it wasn't due to the cigarettes. I used to tell myself I'll get around to quitting, I'll do it one day.

My favourite song on the MoTown label is "Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today"


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