‘Smoking got in the way of so much and was holding me back’

OneSmallStep caught up with Marc at the ‘Grill in the Hill’ on Haldon Hill, where he works.  We supported Mark to give up smoking for good. After nearly 50 years of smoking, Marc was ready to kick the habit and he has not looked back since.    

‘I’ve smoked for a long time, I started when I was 12 and I’m now 60. On an average day I would be smoking up to 80 cigarettes.   I had tried to stop on my own before, by going cold turkey but the cravings were tough and life events got in the way.

This time I knew I needed some help if I was going to be successful. I was referred to OneSmallStep by the Wellbeing clinic at Westbank Surgery. I was coughing a lot in the mornings which I knew was down to the smoking and it worried me as my Dad had COPD and I was finding myself getting increasingly more breathless. Looking back now smoking had a negative effect on all aspects of my life, not just my health.

I had my reservations about quitting but once I’d spoken to Denise, my stop smoking advisor, she helped me turn all the negative thoughts I was having about it into positive ones. I didn’t feel very confident I could do it initially but after speaking to Denise I thought ‘yes I can do this’. The best thing about OneSmallStep was the regular telephone calls of encouragement and advice. Denise had so many tips and tricks for me to try to help manage my cravings that really worked. Denise arranged for me to have some free NRT products, I used 24hr patches and gum, I couldn’t have done it without them. 

I won’t say it hasn’t been hard, but it got easier and the help and support I’ve had has been brilliant, Denise was always on the end of the phone and every message she gave was a positive one. The best bit has been all the improvements I am noticing already after just 6 weeks. I’m not using my asthma inhaler anymore, I can taste my food much better now, my clothes don’t smell of smoke all the time and my breathing has improved to the point I can now be much more active which will help my weight. I have also started saving money, I’m going to put it towards some new hobbies I want to try.

 Smoking got in the way of so much and was holding me back, I now feel like I can get up and get on with life.

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