Stop Smoking Quit Wall
Peter quit smoking after receiving support from the NHS and he is now enjoying the health benefits. Lana Burrows, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor from Manchester Stop Smoking Service, visits Peter each week providing the support he needs to help him stay smokefree.
Peter had enjoyed life as a marathon runner and didn’t start smoking until 1991 when he had a breakdown in his mental health. He was admitted to hospital on a psychiatric ward where he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. His condition is managed through medication. At that time patients were allowed to smoke in the hospital, so as there was not much to do, Peter started smoking. He thought he would be able to give up anytime but he couldn’t and it quickly became a long term habit. Peter Quit Factor Image
Peter would smoke roll ups and earlier this year as he opened one of the tobacco packs there was a message that said ‘choose freedom’ which struck a chord with Peter. He wanted to be in control and said: “I didn’t want to be a slave to an external stimulant to make me happy, which I felt I was doing with cigarettes. I wanted to quit smoking because of my health and to save money.
“I rang the national number on the pack. I was given the number to my local Stop Smoking Service, which I called. I was put in touch with Lana who came out to my home to support me to quit.”
Through his breakdown in mental health, Peter had tried to commit suicide which resulted in him becoming a wheelchair user. As he cannot get out to clinics Lana visits him in his home.
Lana provides support on a weekly basis to help Peter quit smoking and remain smokefree - supplying vouchers for Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches and helping setting goals each week. Peter could not use Champix or Zyban as they would interfere with the medication he takes for Bipolar Disorder.
Peter said: “I used to smoke when I got stressed, but over time with the help of the patches, the habit of smoking went away. I had to do something else so now I go and have a lie down and do deep breathing exercises when I’m stressed.
“I have now got to the point where I don’t like the smell of cigarettes. Mind you, when I was smoking I always thought the ashtray was filthy!”
“I feel proud that I’m protecting myself from the harmful effects of cigarettes. I feel much better, cleaner and healthier. I have high blood pressure, circulation problems in my legs and kidney problems. Stopping smoking has helped to reduce my blood pressure which will help to improve my kidneys. I also used to get heart palpitations which have now completely gone.”
Peter has managed to treat himself with the money he has saved. The first thing he bought was a fleece. He then bought a wool cardigan, pyjamas, slipper socks, cotton shirts, tweed cap and a waterproof coat.
Peter is passionate about helping others and he supports a number of charities with some of the money he has saved. He has photographs displayed around his living room wall of people and animal charities from around the world. He is also a keen gardener, artist, particularly portrait drawing and a budding writer and has written plays, jokes and poetry.
A final word from Peter: “I just want to encourage anyone who is considering stopping smoking, whether it’s for your health or saving money – once you decide you want to quit it’s a lot easier with support. Even if you have been addicted to cigarette smoking for years you can stop with support. I’m confident that I will not start smoking again. It’s useful to have a change of routine or distraction, set a landmark and get support from an advisor each week.
“I would not have been able to stop without the support of Lana who has been a great inspiration on my quit journey, so I’d wholeheartedly like to say thank you Lana.”
Allison Whiteside recently shared her stop smoking story with BBC TV on Harpurhey Market. A film crew from North West Tonight visited the market to see first hand the stop smoking support available for local people. Reporter Abbie Jones interviewed Allison who said:
“I’ve stopped smoking for my children. I have tried to stop smoking before but just couldn’t do it. I knew I needed help. I was shopping one day on Harpurhey Market when I saw this stop smoking stall and decided to get support from one of the advisors. I have managed to stop smoking now but I wouldn’t have done it without their support.”
Abbie Paton, Acting Manager, Manchester Stop Smoking Service said: “People can pop down to get support to stop smoking as they do their shopping. The service is close to where people live and is easy to access.”
The filming was part of feature on a conference that was held in Manchester where councillors pledged to work locally and collaboratively towards a tobacco free future, by making smoking history for children.
The conference was attended by Public Health Minister Anne Milton and leading local authority figures. Discussions focused on how they can tackle tobacco in our local communities.
The filming on the market was an ideal opportunity to showcase partnership work between the Trust’s stop smoking service and Manchester City Council.
Manchester Stop Smoking Service provides support in many places across the city including pharmacies, hospitals and clinics as well as local markets. The service is open to anyone who lives or works in Manchester.