Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Saying Goodbye to Cigarettes for Good; HEALTH Reporter HELEN RAE Speaks to a Heavy Smoker Who Is Urging Others to Follow in His Footsteps and Quit for Good

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Saying Goodbye to Cigarettes for Good; HEALTH Reporter HELEN RAE Speaks to a Heavy Smoker Who Is Urging Others to Follow in His Footsteps and Quit for Good

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

AHEAVY smoker who battled with cigarettes over the last 15 years and spends around pounds 40-pounds 50 a week on his addiction has finally quit his costly habit for good.

Barry Betham, 44, of Whitley Bay, has tried around 15 times to give up but has always started smoking again.

However, his fiance Carol Charlton, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and after receiving successful treatment Barry decided to seek help and quit smoking.

"Carol has never smoked and although she never got on to me about smoking I thought it was the right time to stop," he explained.

Now with the help of advisors from NHS Newcastle and North Tyneside Stop Smoking Service, Barry smoked his last cigarette over six weeks ago.

"I've been using patches which have been great and my stop smoking advisors have been really supportive," he added.

He is urging anyone who has tried to quit unsuccessfully in the past to seek help and don't try and quit alone.

"It has taken me over 15 attempts to eventually stop and this time I'm determined it'll be for good," said Barry.

"I'd say to anyone who wants to stop smoking or has tried in the past to give up, to seek help from NHS stop smoking advisors and don't worry if it takes you many attempts. The important thing is not to give up trying to quit smoking."

Barry tried quitting last year but broke his ankle shortly afterwards and had to be airlifted to hospital after falling from a mountain into a river. A mixture of stress and boredom led to him starting smoking again soon after the accident, as he was incapacitated for months.

He has recently returned to work for chemical manufacturing plant Chemson Ltd.

"I only really miss cigarettes when I have a drink on a weekend so I've changed a few habits", he explained.

"I used to smoke at break times with colleagues at work but now I've changed my break times so I don't go out with the smokers and I'm not tempted anymore".

Barry, who used to smoke around 15 cigarettes a day and more than a 100 during the weekend, attends the free weekly drop-in stop smoking session at Meadow Well Clinic in North Tyneside where he gets his carbon monoxide levels monitored.

He added: "With the money I'm saving I think I'll buy a new pair of shoes to celebrate going smoke free."

Gillian Emmerson, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust's public health nurse leader, who heads up a team of nurses who provide stop smoking advice to people across the borough, said: "Barry has done fantastically well and congratulations go to him on becoming smoke free.

"He has been determined to quit this time and with the help of the stop smoking advisors he has not had a cigarette for over six weeks.

"Barry has attempted to quit many times in the past but something has always got in the way and he's ended up smoking again. …

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