Alan celebrates a smoke-free year

Catherine Taylor, Fresh Smoke Free North East; Amanda Young, advisor, Northumberland Stop Smoking Service; Alan White, who quit smoking with the support of the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service; Councillor Veronica Jones, portfolio holder for adult wellbeing and health, Northumberland County Council; Kerry Lynch, senior public health manager, Northumberland County Council; Connie Reardon, specialist, Northumberland Stop Smoking Service; Elizabeth Morgan, interim director of public health, Northumberland County Council.
Catherine Taylor, Fresh Smoke Free North East; Amanda Young, advisor, Northumberland Stop Smoking Service; Alan White, who quit smoking with the support of the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service; Councillor Veronica Jones, portfolio holder for adult wellbeing and health, Northumberland County Council; Kerry Lynch, senior public health manager, Northumberland County Council; Connie Reardon, specialist, Northumberland Stop Smoking Service; Elizabeth Morgan, interim director of public health, Northumberland County Council.

An Ashington grandad, who is celebrating a year smoke free, is encouraging others to quit the habit.

Alan White, 67, stopped smoking to support his wife after she was taken ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

He quit with support from the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking service and now he is urging other smokers to stub it out during Stoptober.

Alan, a retired miner, said: “It was such a shock to me, she went to see the doctor and he called an ambulance straight away. I took the decision to stop smoking as soon as she was taken ill.

“I think I was always aware of the risks, but had become desensitised. Then when you see something like that happen it really hits you.

“I went along to the stop smoking clinic with my wife and I have never looked back. I would definitely recommend the service to others. Our stop smoking adviser gave both of us total encouragement and support every step of the way, and she went out of her way to arrange appointments in a place and time that was convenient for both of us.

“Since I stopped smoking I feel a lot fitter and I can do more at my allotment. My breathing is a lot better and I no longer have a cough. I sleep better as well.”

The service is provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Clinics are available in a range of venues, including GP practices, pharmacies and community centres.

For details ring 01670 813135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking