Colyn’s story – Make Smoking History

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Colyn’s story

I was no longer breathless when out walking. I’ve also got a lot more energy and I’m walking further.

Support worker, Colyn Alcock, 58, from Levenshulme quit smoking to improve his health and give his daughter a better future.

Within a few days of stopping smoking the pains disappeared and I was no longer breathless when out walking. I’ve also got a lot more energy and I’m walking further and for longer.

Colyn smoked 30 cigarettes a day for 36 years but, after suffering pains in his calves and breathlessness, he was reminded of his father’s death at 77 from hardening of the arteries.

This concern, teamed with worries about paying for his 15-year-old daughter’s future college and university career, prompted Colyn to contact his local stop smoking service.

With the help of the service, full-strength nicotine patches, an inhalator and the Smoke Free app, Colyn has successfully managed to quit smoking.

“Within a few days of stopping smoking the pains disappeared and I was no longer breathless when out walking. I’ve also got a lot more energy and I’m walking further and for longer.”

As well as useful information and advice, the app helps Colyn calculate how much he’s saving by not buying cigarettes. Adding it all up shows Colyn would save more than £2,700 a year – a significant amount to go towards his daughter’s future.

Colyn’s advice to others who want to give up is to go easy on yourself. He says: “You may stumble along the way, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you do. It’s a nasty addictive substance and it takes some people several attempts to stop. Be kind to yourself.

“At first I was reticent about telling friends and family I had quit – I didn’t want to live with the shame of “failing” and a lot of people knowing about it. But people began to notice and one guy guessed because he said my skin was looking a lot better and so my confidence in my ability to quit grew.”

Colyn added: “At work they gave me a certificate to mark my first month smoke free. I laughed and nearly cried, that was a really nice feeling.

“I know the statistics for relapse so I can’t say I ‘will never smoke a cigarette again’, but every day without a cigarette in my hand makes that possibility more of a probability. And the more time goes on, the greater chance there is of turning that probability into a reality.

“I look forward to the day when I can say ‘oh yeah, I used to smoke years ago.'”