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Michael Coxon, 59 from Grimsby smoked for 48 years before quitting and has never looked back.

“I thought other people were able to give up smoking but no matter how hard I tried I wouldn’t be able to. Quitting smoking is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’m surprised at how easy it was.”

Relationship with smoking
“I had my first cigarette when I was nine years old. I wanted to be one of the boys and back then smoking was the thing to do.

“Over time it became a habit until I was smoking 40-45 cigarettes a day.

“People would tell me to quit and I laughed about it because I thought it wasn’t possible.

“I had seven or eight cigarettes within the first hour of waking up. I would wake up in the night and have three cigarettes.

“I liked smoking. I felt that it was one of the few things I had to enjoy so I didn’t really want to give them up.”

Why quit
“I needed to quit smoking for surgery. The surgeon told me, ‘We can’t operate on you because you’re smoking too much.’

“When you blow into the Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor a reading under six would be a non-smoker.

“My first reading was 44. It was high-risk.

“They told me where I could go to get support to quit and I just ignored them.

“I thought any attempt to quit would be a wasted effort.

“When I blew another high reading at my next visit, they told me the same thing again so I decided to give it a go.”

Tools to quit
“When I spoke to the Wellbeing Service my worker talked about products to help me stop but I turned them down because I had doubts about them working.

“She discussed a medication called Champix that she thought might work well for me and I got a 12-week course.

“I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I never had any cravings, I didn’t change my daily routine and I didn’t change my habits- I just stopped smoking.

“On a Thursday evening on the second week of taking Champix I put a cigarette out half-finished and that was the last smoke I had.

“Within three weeks of taking Champix I felt completely free of my addiction to cigarettes and had stopped smoking completely.

“Shortly after I quit I blew into the CO monitor and my reading was 2. All the Carbon Monoxide was out of my system.

“It was a long way to come in just a few weeks and it felt good to know I was clear of it.

“The doctors and nurses were over the moon for me.

“Determination helped me as well. It’s a choice to smoke and a choice to quit.”

“Since I gave up smoking I feel much healthier.

“I used to cough and wheeze all the time. It would wake me up in the night. I’ve stopped coughing completely now.

“My father died of cancer. My Mum is one of 13 children and 11 of her brothers and sisters died of cancer

“I can see how choosing to quit is helping my health and my future.

“I also have a completely different view of cigarettes now.

“When I see my partner smoke, I wonder how she can do it.

“My partner has also cut down from 35 cigarettes a day to 15.

“I like that I smell better, my clothes stay fresh, I can smell and taste better. I have more time too.”

Quit together
“The Wellbeing Worker that helped me quit see’s other smokers who say ‘I’ll never be able to stop.’

“She tells them that I went from smoking 45 in a day to none and it gives them reassurance that it can be done and an incentive to try.

“My advice to others is just be willing to try.

“Being a non-smoker is completely possible for anyone who wants it.”

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