‘Become a quitter like me’

Robin with his grandchildren Connor, 14, and Ethan Abbey, 11
Robin with his grandchildren Connor, 14, and Ethan Abbey, 11

A FORMER smoker is urging people to kick the habit after revealing how he managed to quit his 60-a-day addiction.

Hartlepool man Robin Cass, 61, issued his message to coincide with national No Smoking Day, with various events taking place around the UK today.

Robin, a former seaman, gave up his 60-a-day habit six years ago, and he and his wife, Gwen, 59, have never looked back.

Robin said; “It’s a real sense of achievement to quit and Gwen is delighted.

“I suffered badly from asthma previously and that’s a lot better now too.”

Robin had tried to quit several times before, but had always been unsuccessful. But he remained determined, and as he and Gwen foster children, he finally managed to stop buying cigarettes so he wouldn’t set a bad example.

Robin sought assistance from Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service when he decided there was no going back.

He said: “The people at the stop smoking service were absolutely brilliant, they couldn’t have been more helpful.

“The extra moral support, as well as advice on using inhalators and patches really made the difference.”

With No Smoking Day taking place today, coinciding with the start of Lent, Robin wants to encourage others to seek help and stub out their habit for good.

Last year, one in four smokers from the region attempted to quit smoking on No Smoking Day, and from today, it is estimated that 114,000 people will try to pack in.

Ailsa Rutter, director of FRESH Smoke Free North East, hopes people take note of Robin’s success story and are encouraged to do the same.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see stories like Robin’s and I hope his story inspires other people across the North East to quit today for the sake of their health and for their family and friends.

“It’s not easy to quit smoking and not everyone is successful first time, but we would urge anyone who has tried to try again.”

Stop Smoking Service advisors were on hand at various locations across Hartlepool, including Asda and the Civic Centre, today for No Smoking Day.

People who are interested in stopping smoking can phone the Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 635650.

Alternatively, contact the National Smoking helpline on 0800 012 1612 or text “HEALTH” and your postcode to 88088.