Smoker for nearly fifty years, calls it quits
Sixty year old Marc was a smoker, since the age of 12.
He was smoking up to 80 cigarettes a day.
He’d tried stopping, but had always ended up smoking again.
“There were some aspects of smoking I enjoyed,” explains Marc. “It sounds odd, but I liked the burn on my throat.”
But there was lots more about smoking he didn’t like. His asthma, for one, which was getting worse and he was breathless all the time.
He also disliked the smell of smoke in the house and on his clothes.
And it was costing him a fortune.
Despite best efforts, he’d not been able to stop, until he was referred to OneSmallStep.
“The best things about the programme for me were the weekly appointments. Denise was really encouraging and knowing that I’d be able to ask questions and she wouldn’t judge me or tell me off if I slipped up really helped.
“I am so chuffed with the service I got from OneSmallStep. I couldn’t have done it without them.
“The benefits of quitting have been endless. Food tastes better. I can breathe more easily. I can do more exercise to help my weight. The list goes on.
“Denise, being on the end of the phone, really helped me. She has helped turn around any negative thoughts I had about quitting smoking and helped turn them into positive ones.
“I’ve been quit for eight weeks now and there’s no going back. The more weeks that go by the easier it gets.”
Marc’s story is not unusual. On average, smoking kills nearly a thousand people in Devon a year. Smoking rates have fallen, but still, around 14 per cent of adults in Devon smoke – that’s around 88,461 people.
It’s not just their health at stake, but it’s the impact it has on their families, those around them, and their community at large.
According to the charity, Action on Smoking and Health, (ASH), 30 per cent of households containing smokers, in the South West, are living in poverty.
On average, smokers are spending just under £2,000 a year on their habit.
ASH say that their employment chances and average earnings are also damaged by smoking.
And smokers are two and a half times more likely to need social care at home, and need care on average 10 years earlier than non-smokers.
It’s costing adult social care authorities too, accounting for 8 per cent of their spend.
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health Devon, said:
“Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in England. Quitting smoking can transform lives, and our communities.
“The benefits of stopping smoking are not only on the health and wellbeing of the smoker but also other family members living in the household. It also reduces demand on health and social care services down the line.
“Each year, OneSmallStep help people like Marc to do what is otherwise really difficult for many people. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help.
“If you are a smoker, pick up the phone and call us on 01392 908 139, or visit our website. We want to hear from you.”