A local man with suspected chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) has quit smoking after 55 years and continues to be smoke free.
Paul Daley, 70, from Hattersley, smoked approximately eight roll-ups per day and made an attempt to quit last year when he was smoking 20 cigarettes per day.
Paul said: “I did manage to go four weeks without a cigarette however, during lockdown I started smoking again.”
In May this year, he had a serious health scare and was taken to A&E at Tameside Hospital with severe breathing difficulties and suspected COPD.
He continued: “I went to A&E as I could not breathe and thought that I was dying. I was frightened to death to lie down as it felt like I was drowning in this position. I had to sit up all the time even when I tried to sleep, it was a terrifying experience.
“I was aware that smoking was part of the problem and although I had tried to stop previously, my head was not in the right place. I’d been using three different inhalators each day to help me breath.
“Whilst in hospital I was given Nicotine Replacement Patches (NRP) by the CURE (Tameside addiction service) nurse to help combat my nicotine cravings. After I came home from hospital, the CURE team nurse referred me to Be Well Tameside for further support. At this point my attitude was different; I knew if I continued to smoke I could die.”
One of the first things he remembers being asked by his Be Well Advisor, Mags, was why he wanted to stop smoking.
He added: “It was the way I was asked that made a difference. Mags gave me time to think about why I wanted to stop but also why I smoked. I received fortnightly phone calls from her and looked forward to the catch ups. I did not feel rushed or pressured. I was frightened that I may have had cancer and knew that I needed to stop smoking.
“She did not dictate to me or make me feel guilty about smoking, as others have done in the past, she just listened and then said that the biggest strength comes from wanting to stop smoking.
"She was right, no matter who tells you that you should stop and why, if you are not ready, you won’t achieve it. I found her attitude and knowledge great - she explained things differently, in a way that I understood - no jargon! Her motivational skills were excellent and that’s what helped me stop.
“I don’t miss the cigarettes anymore; previously I’d liked to have a cigarette after food but now I’m ok. My food tastes better and my tongue is not brown anymore. Last but not least, I no longer get earache from the Mrs to stop smoking!”
The products Paul chose were nicotine replacement treatment patches and Quick mist spray, these helped keep his cravings away. He now only uses his Ventolin when needed and is delighted that he no longer smokes and has recently been for a lung health check at British Gas and does not have COPD.
Anyone living, working, staying in hospital, or with a GP in Tameside can access free support to quit smoking from Be Well Tameside, run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Be Well Tameside offer one-to-one support to help people make healthier lifestyle changes, by provide regular contact, practical tips, information on local groups, and access to other local services. People can call 0161 716 2000 or email email@example.com.
Smokers can also join the thousands of others and start their quitting journey this October using the available Stoptober tools, apps and resources by searching ‘Stoptober’.
Councillor Eleanor Wills, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, said: “Thank you Paul for sharing your brave quit smoking story. I truly hope that other smokers put their health first before taking their next cigarette and are inspired by your story to seek the help locally to become smokefree.”
Lobna Begum-Haris, specialist stop smoking lead with Be Well Tameside, said: “Paul’s success shows that if you don’t give up giving up and with the support from a trained Health and Wellbeing Advisor, you are more likely to succeed in fully quitting for good! We hope Paul’s story inspires others who live or work in Tameside to contact us for support.
“Our message to Tameside residents is to remember it can take a few attempts before someone quits, so remember never to quit quitting and you’re three times more likely to quit with specialist support, so why not use this Stoptober as an opportunity to start your journey to improving your health with our advisors today.”
For more helpful information on stopping smoking, visit https://www.tameside.gov.uk/StopSmoking.