Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust"s Quit Squad is helping people in East Lancashire take steps in the right direction when it comes to kicking the habit for good.
The Service is spreading the word about the benefits of leading a smoke free life and is urging people that it"s not too late to kick the habit.
Stopping smoking at any time can help reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes and some cancers and can also significantly improve blood pressure and circulation just hours after your last cigarette.
Bob Hamer, 50 from East Lancashire had been a smoker for almost 25 years when he decided to quit smoking with the help of the Quit Squad, he said:
"I"ve been trying to give up for years; I used to say to myself 'When I"m 40, I"ll stop" and I set that as my goal, but before I knew it I was 50 and still smoking heavily. I count myself lucky that so far I haven"t become seriously ill due to my smoking and have taken the decision to stop on my own. I went to one of their clinics in Accrington and after discussing the best options for me with the team I started a 12 week course of tablets that relieves cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with stopping smoking. I"m 10 weeks into the course at the moment and each time I go to the clinic, my carbon monoxide is measured by breathing into a machine, when I first went it read 38, ten weeks later I blew 2! The team explained that blowing between 0-4/5 is normal for non-smokers so it was a real boost to see that figure come down so much.
"I would encourage anyone who is thinking about stopping smoking to contact the Quit Squad and do it. My wife and kids have supported me every day and since I"ve stopped I"ve had so much more energy, I can feel myself being in a better mood. I have a bucket list and some of the money I"m saving each month by quitting is going towards being able to achieve a few things on that list which include swimming with sharks, so it"s a great motivator for me to achieve my dream! I"ve got two weeks left on the tablets but I"m feeling great so far and can honestly say I"ll never smoke again."
Julie Trezise, Stop Smoking Service Manager at the Quit Squad said:
"Bob is a great example of how it"s never too late to set yourself a goal even if the goal posts change, which is why we"re hoping to help more people than ever before to lead a healthier lifestyle. People can often smoke for years without realising some of the harm it could be doing to their health which is why we are urging people to get in touch with us even if it"s for an informal chat about the facts or what we can do to help them.
"We found something that worked for Bob but there are many more options. We tailor the service and urge people to remember they are 5 times more likely to stop smoking with the help of your local NHS stop smoking service."
The Quit Squad can be contacted on Freephone 0800 328 6297 or 01254 283370 or 01772 644474 or you can complete the online self-referral form on their website at www.quitsquad.nhs.uk