Supporting image for Alan

When the doctors told me that they would have to run some tests for lung cancer, this was a real wake-up call for me.

I don’t think, in all the time I have smoked, I have ever seriously tried to stop, it’s just something I do. I’ve not smoked in the house for years as I don’t like the smell of leaves in the house. So, I take myself off into my shed instead.

When my tests came back with the all-clear for cancer, I was relieved but still shocked by the realization of how serious it could have been. I have COPD already, and that alone is enough to scare anyone, especially the thought of needing oxygen via a tube.

That’s when I decided to seriously look at the whole smoking thing so I could address it before it got any worse; let’s call it a wake-up call if you like, a scary one at that!

Health is wealth to me; even though I struggle at times with my COPD, I consider myself fairly fit for my age, and all the years of grafting I’ve done.

I’ve been accessing Yorkshire Smokefree for the past 16 weeks and have managed to remain quit all this time - I feel great! My advisor, Lindsey, is great; she helped me stay focused, and I plan to speak with her again in the new year to update her on my progress. I feel quicker and more alert since putting the cigarettes down, which is a great feeling at my age. What I don’t miss is that feeling when I used to lie down, and suddenly, my breathing would change to what I used to call my ‘panic breathing’. There have been times when I laid there thinking I was never getting up; I couldn’t breathe or move as I was gasping for air.

The panic breathing has gone now, apart from the occasional shortness of breath, but nothing like before when I was still smoking cigarettes.

I’m not one of those anti-smokers now, but if anyone cared to listen or ask me how I did it, this is what I would tell them. If you feel now is a good time to give it a go, pick up the phone and call Yorkshire Smokefree. I promise you won’t regret it, but it won’t be easy; you have to work at it and get through those early cravings.

What I don’t understand and would like to ask the younger generation is, why do you smoke? It’s not like they don’t know the harms of smoking, and it doesn’t take long to realise how expensive they have become. Smoking is one of the worst things you can start as it’s no fun and offers you nothing but poverty and poor health.