EX-SMOKERS from Grimsby and Cleethorpes have shared their experiences of quitting the habit and what it’s meant to them – and if they can do it, you can too!
Ahead of this year’s No Smoking Day, on Wednesday 8 March, the local people are hoping their personal stories will encourage others to seek help and stop. Meanwhile national health chiefs are using March 8 to highlight how smoking can increase a person’s risk of developing dementia – an unknown fact to many. Locally the day is also being used to highlight the support that is available in North East Lincolnshire to help those who want to stop.
Read the stories of local people and if you want to stop get help from your local Wellbeing Service:
Phone: 01472 325 500 or email
Email: [email protected]
Visit: Stop smoking support – LiveWell (nelincs.gov.uk) for details of weekly drop-in sessions.
Zoe from Cleethorpes visited the town’s Fusion Centre where she was helped by North East Lincolnshire Council’s Wellbeing Service, which runs sessions there. Wanting to quit to save money – figures show that smoking 10 a day can cost nearly £40 every week, that’s more than £2,000 a year – Zoe took her first steps.
She said: “It was a good and quite easy journey. I started with vapes and I am now smoke-free, which is a real achievement, and the Wellbeing Service was good. As a bonus I’ve used the money saved to buy an air fryer – so less take-aways.”
Vanessa from Grimsby was also supported by the Wellbeing Service at the Fusion Centre: “I thought about quitting for three months before I did it and wanted to stop for money reasons – I have now booked a holiday and plan to book more! Stopping was actually very easy with a combination of vape and patches and it’s a huge sense of achievement as this is the first time I’ve stopped.”
Derry from Grimsby also attended Fusion and was helped by the Wellbeing Service. Derry vowed to stop after her mum had a cardiac arrest – she wanted to support her and was also worried about her own health. She has support from her children and admitted it was hard but with professional help she did it!
“I cannot deny that it was hard and there were temptations but my desire not to smoke was stronger. I went to sessions every Tuesday and the patches really helped. Any thoughts of smoking now don’t last long and go in a flash,” said Derry.
She said she now feels lots better, walks more with her kids and sleeps better. With the money saved Derry is taking her kids out and has family treats such as trips to the cinema.
Vanessa from Grimsby got specific Smoking in Pregnancy support: “The support I have received from the Wellbeing Service worker has been amazing, I never thought I would ever be able to cut down or stop smoking. Even when I was having issues with collecting my patches help was on hand to sort it for me.”
Keith from Grimsby visited the Wellbeing Service’s walk-in sessions at Freeman Street Market: “I wanted to stop smoking because of health issues. The thought of stopping was daunting but the support from the Wellbeing team made it so much easier than expected.
“Once I quit, I felt a sense of relief because I wasn’t focusing on where my next cigarette was coming from, and I actually felt less stressed. I even managed to put a little bit away for a rainy day. All was going well for a while but then I had some unexpected news and unfortunately for me I relapsed and found myself smoking again.
“But I knew support was only a phone call away, I couldn’t have done it without the Wellbeing Team that’s why I came back. I set a quit date and I’m on my way to being smoke free once again.”
Simon from Grimsby also got support from the Wellbeing team after visiting the Freeman Street Market drop-in: “The main reason I wanted to stop smoking was to improve my health. I went swimming and found myself struggling to breathe with gentle exercise. It made me realise things needed to change and stopping smoking has made a big difference.
“I found it quite easy, I suppose I was more prepared this time around, I saw a leaflet advertising stopping smoking and called my GP. He put me onto the Wellbeing Service. I don’t think I’d have done it without them.
“With their support I was able to understand more about the addiction and my habits around smoking. I liked popping in each week to use the carbon monoxide machine because I could visually see the benefits as well as feel them, and that was really encouraging for me. The money I’ve saved from stopping smoking gets spent on the love of my life ‘Gert’ my motorcycle. If I hear anyone thinking of quitting, I always recommend they get support from the Wellbeing team, it really helped me.”
Smoking and dementia: did you know?
Smokers have an increased risk of dementia, and stopping can substantially decrease the risk. This is because:
- Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia have both been linked to problems with the vascular system (your heart and blood vessels);
- Smoking increases the risk of vascular problems, including strokes or smaller bleeds in the brain, which are also risk factors for dementia;
- Toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and stress to cells, which have both been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease;
- WHO (World Health Organisation), estimates that 14 per cent of cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide are potentially attributable to smoking;
- The British doctors study over fifty-years found that quitting smoking at any age can increase life expectancy. The benefits improve the younger you choose to quit, gaining up to 10 years of life expectancy.
Derek Ward, the Director of Public Health for Greater Lincolnshire, covering North East Lincolnshire, said: “Whilst the more commonly known health benefits of stopping smoking are widely known, these increased dementia risks associated with smoking may well come as a surprise to many. This is one reason alone for people to think about making this year the year they do stop – and you can see from the local people we have helped, that there is real support out there to successfully help you. Please use that support.”