Alan, North West Leicestershire
Alan had been smoking for more than 40 years and had been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and suffered with heart problems.
It was during his third stay in hospital that he decided he really needed to quit smoking, to give himself the best chance of getting home and getting on with his life.
“I had been in hospital before and the Drs had told me to quit, but I hadn’t wanted to. This time it was different though, I felt so ill I honestly didn’t know if I would make it home. It was my decision to quit then, I was ready.”
The hospital staff put Alan in touch with Bev, a QuitReady advisor.
“I liked talking to Bev, she wasn’t pushy or judgemental, she was just there if I needed her.”
Alan didn’t find it easy at first, but he persevered.
“The hardest thing was going out to watch the football or for a drink, everyone else would be smoking and I would gettempted. I decided to avoid those situations for the first couple of weeks, it was a bit boring but after that I was fine.”
“In fact I don’t even like the smell anymore. Since quitting I have taken all my clothes out of the wardrobe and put them through the wash again, just to make sure they don’t still smell of smoke!”
One of the first things Alan noticed after quitting was how healthy his bank account was looking.
“I realised I’d been spending around £140 a week on cigarettes, that’s over £500 a month!”
Within three months of quitting, Alan had saved enough money to take a long-haul holiday. During the holiday Alan and his girlfriend got married, and they have even rented a flat there so they can holiday whenever they like.
“Before I used to really struggle with flying, I would find breathing difficult and be ill for a couple of days afterwards. This time I didn’t have any problems at all. I was able to make the most of every day of my holiday and am already planning my next trip.”
“I still have the COPD, and that’s not going to go away, but for now my GP is happy that it isn’t getting worse. I am definitely having more good days where I can get out and about, than I did while I was smoking.”
What would Alan say to anyone else thinking of quitting?
“I expect everyone says this, but I never thought I’d be able to quit. If I can do it, you can do it too.”