Press Article: Sunderland dad surprises wife with posh pooch - thanks to quitting smoking
Sunderland dad surprises wife with posh pooch - thanks to quitting smoking
PROUD Gary Martin handed his wife a Paris Hilton-style posh pooch for Christmas – thanks to the money he saved from quitting smoking.
Gary presented the family’s new teacup Chihuahua puppy as his Christmas surprise to delighted wife Wendy and daughter Abigail, 15. Gary, 45, quit three months ago with the help of South of Tyne and Wear NHS Stop Smoking Service.
It comes as figures are released from Fresh showing that eight out of ten smokers would like to stop smoking and six out of ten are planning to quit in the near future.
The thousands of smokers planning to quit this January have more options than ever before – from asking their GP or pharmacist, joining one of the many NHS Stop Smoking Service sessions around the region, getting hold of an NHS Quit Kit or logging onto the NHS Smokefree page on Facebook and chatting with loads of other quitters http://www.facebook.com/NHSSmokefree
Gary, a self-employed shop owner from Redhouse, said: “If I can do it, anyone can. I smoked since my 15th birthday and used to smoke 60 a day. I would easily have five cigarettes in the first 20 minutes after waking up.
”I just got to the point when I was sick of it, sick of waking up and coughing my guts up, or having to get up at 3am to have a cigarette.
”I’ve got a clot in my leg as a result, but I feel so much better. I have so much more energy it’s obscene. Now I’m just hoping Wendy will quit too, but she has to do it when she is ready.
“To anyone planning to quit I would say you have to start with the attitude that you’re going to do it, that you’ve quit for good and there’s no going back. When you decide you’re ready, you’re best striking while the iron is hot and not delaying.
“Don’t even be tempted by just one. It’s a really slippery slope and you will soon find yourself smoking again.”
Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “A New Year is a new start and there are so many ways to help you quit, from popping down to your local Stop Smoking Service to getting moral support from other quitters from the comfort of your computer.
“Although quitting is not always easy, most people who quit feel a massive improvement in health, energy and have loads more money to spend on nicer things.”
Maria Williams, manager of South of Tyne and Wear NHS Specialist Stop Smoking Service, said: “Quitting smoking is usually top of the New Year Resolutions. But often people set out to quit at New Year relying on their willpower alone and too often find they are smoking again by February.
“One of the main reasons for this is not getting the best help and support in the first place.
“We all know that quitting isn’t easy and that the best results come from contacting the NHS local Stop Smoking Service, where we have a team of friendly advisors just waiting to help and support you in your quit attempt, including advice on suitable nicotine replacement products where appropriate.
“We’d also welcome back anyone who has been to the Stop Smoking Service before – you don’t always succeed on your first attempt, but the key is to give it another go.”
Your best chance of quitting is through the NHS Stop Smoking Services. People in
Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside can access local help in a number of
• NHS South of Tyne and Wear is offering a whole range of free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to smokers who register with the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. The free NRT products on offer include nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, microtabs, nicotine patches, inhalators and nasal spray, which can double your chances of quitting. To take advantage of this offer, find your local Stop Smoking Service by texting SMOKE FREE and your postcode to 60003 or log on to www.sotw.nhs.uk
• For more specialist support, especially for those people who have tried before but not succeeded, phone the South of Tyne and Wear Specialist NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 587 4865.
• You can also phone the NHS Helpline on 0800 022 4 332 or click on http://smokefree.nhs.uk/
Here’s 10 tips for the New Year from NHS Stop Smoking advisers and real quitters in Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead.
1. If you are going out, don't forget to take your Nicotine Replacement Therapy with you. It can be easy to be tempted when socialising with friends who smoke. You don't want to smoke and ruin all your hard work......keep going!
2. Finding out how addicted you are really gives you a reason to stop. Try the online Addiction Test at http://smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/addiction-test/ Use one of the NHS approved aids to tackle the addiction – Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Varenicline or Bupropion with support to help you quit.
3. Make a list of reasons why you want to stop smoking to help you through any difficult moments. For example, if you have children, think about the effect it has on them. Almost all (96%) children with a smoking parent wish that they would quit.
4. Take it one day at a time and keep yourself busy. Go for a walk or doing something else with your hands when you get the cravings. Plan some exercise to put an extra stride in your step.
5. Ask your loved ones and friends to support you. Quit attempts are more successful if you’re not doing it alone. Try to find yourself a quitting partner such as your partner, work colleagues or a friend. Set a date to quit together and you will be able to give each other support.
6. Think about setting up a quitting club in your workplace where colleagues can support each other.
7. Reward yourself - think of how much cash you’re saving! For example, a couple smoking 20-a-day could save more than £4,000 a year – the cost of a luxury holiday. Work out how long it will take you to save for your dream purchase by using the calculator http://smokefree.nhs.uk/quit-tools/cost-calculator/
8. Throw out your ashtrays, matches and lighters and anything else you needed to smoke. Put potpourri where your ashtrays used to be – your home will smell fresher in no time at all.
9. Don’t think ‘one cigarette won’t hurt’. You will be undoing all your great work and could make the cravings worse
10. Remember that your doctor, pharmacy and Local NHS Stop Smoking Service may be closed over the festive period, make sure that you have enough of your stop smoking medicine to keep you going