South Tyneside CCG News

Stop smoking quitters join NHS South of Tyne and Wear road show in short film

Fri 27th January 2012

Ex smokers who have quit with the help of NHS support have taken part in short films to urge others to follow suit.

The films have been used as part of a road show commissioned by NHS South of Tyne and Wear visited Sunderland raising awareness of stop smoking services along with sexual health services, NHS Health Checks  and regional campaign Be Clear on Cancer.

Local staff from NHS South of Tyne and Wear, working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT), South Tyneside PCT and Gateshead PCT, also gave out information on each topic including how to access support to quit smoking, screening for chlamydia, NHS Health Checks and raising awareness of cancer early signs and symptoms for Be Clear on Cancer.

The local quitters all stopped smoking with the help of local NHS stop smoking services which are available at a variety of locations across Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland – from GP surgeries and pharmacies, to workplaces and community venues.

Stopping smoking is the single greatest thing you can do to improve your health. With the help of the NHS Stop Smoking Service you are four times more likely to quit than using willpower alone.

Contact the NHS Stop Smoking Service for Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland on the following number: 0191 283 1145 (Monday – Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). For more information or to book your Free NHS Health Check, please call 0845 673 0055 or email nhshealthchecks@sotw.nhs.uk. You can also call in at one of the participating pharmacies or community venues.  It only takes about 20 minutes, but could add years to your life.For more information on chlamydia screening please visit http://www.checkyourbits.org/  

Stars of the small screen

Irene Doyle and her partner David Thompson quit together three years ago and haven’t looked back since.

The South Shields duo decided to stop smoking after it was affecting their health and putting a strain on their finances.

Irene, a 52-year-old carer had stopped smoking for eight years but she sparked up again after a traffic accident whilst spending her days at home recovering.

Her habit reached 30 a day with David smoking between 30 and 40 each day, and the pair decided to quit.

“It was affecting my health, I couldn’t breathe properly and my chest was bad,” she said. “It was also costing a lot. After eight years of being off the cigarettes I couldn’t believe I had started again,” said Irene.

Irene and David, of Alice Street, South Shields, went to their local NHS Stop Smoking Service clinic at a community venue near their home and a stop smoking advisor prescribed Champix for them to take every day.

“We went to the clinic straight away as we knew we would need help to quit. We were prescribed Champix which was fantastic. It completely took away the cravings. It really helped and we don’t take it anymore.”

Irene said she didn’t have any moments of weakness which she puts down to Champix and bars and restaurants going smoke free.

“The smoking ban had started so we weren’t allowed to smoke in bars anymore which really helped. I was so determined I wanted to stop and David has done really well.”

Irene and David, an engineer, have been quit for three years now and are reaping the benefits, both health wise and financially.

“We both feel so much better and more healthy. We are saving money and enjoying life to the full.”

Irene was glad to tell her story in the videos for the NHS road show.  Also David has just lost a friend to lung cancer

“I think it really helps people to see a real life story of someone who quit to help spur them on. I also think seeing someone who has lung disease due to smoking is a great deterrent. I see people who have Chronicle Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) through my work as a carer and it is scary.”

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