26 September 2017

“My children are really proud we stopped smoking” – Andrew’s Stoptober story

Andrew Pratt from Bevendean, and a former heavy smoker, has said his “children are really proud” after he and his partner quit smoking. 
 
Andrew shares his story for Stoptober
 
Following heart surgery three years ago Andrew started smoking again, but like many others he wanted to quit. 
 
 Help came at a local community event where Andrew and his wife met Simon, from Brighton & Hove City Council’s stop smoking service. They spoke to Simon about all the reasons why they wanted to give up smoking.
 
“We were spending £70-80 a week on cigarettes, and never had anything left for anything else.”
 
“So we set up a date with Simon and we stuck to it… Now we’ve been 12 weeks without a cigarette!”
 
Andrew first started using an inhaler and patches, and after two weeks into the 12 week stop smoking programme invested in an electronic cigarette and also started vaping. E-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes, and the most popular quitting method in England. People who combine support from stop smoking services and choose to use e-cigarettes as a quit aid have some of the highest success rates. 
 
Andrew’s family are now feeling the benefit of quitting:
 
“My children are really proud that we stopped. There’s been no day that I’ve regretted stopping. I’m feeling better, my cardiologist is happier with me that I’ve now quit, and I intend to stay free… because I do feel so much better.”
 
“My kids are happier, and the benefit is my kids can now have family days out.” 
 
By stopping smoking Andrew was able to start living more: “My partner has paid to go on a four day trip to Lincolnshire with the family in October and I’m flying up to Scotland to see my elder kids. If I was still smoking I wouldn’t be able to afford this. It’s much easier to save for Christmas especially now we’re not looking for money for cigarettes!”
 
Tobacco remains the number one killer in England, and on average 7 people die every week in Brighton & Hove from smoking related illnesses. However, every week 26 people successfully quit thanks to local e-cig friendly stop smoking services commissioned by the Council. Stop smoking advisers work with you on an individual basis to agree a start date for giving up and a programme of ongoing support. 
 
Stoptober, now in its sixth year, has driven over 1 million quit attempts and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smokefree for good. Last year over half of those nationally taking part in Stoptober opted to use an e-cigarette as a quitting aid.
 
With more quitting options and the use of plain packaging there’s never been a better time to quit - take up the Stoptober challenge this October. Find your nearest pharmacy, GP or health trainer offering stop smoking services or call 01273 296877.