Hartlepool great-gran urging smokers to quit for Stoptober

A great-grandmother from Hartlepool has proven you are never too old to quit smoking.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 6:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 6:15 pm
L-R: Andy Lloyd, Alexe Gunn, Pat Marshall, Patricia Turnbull, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Carole Johnson and Ali Johns.
L-R: Andy Lloyd, Alexe Gunn, Pat Marshall, Patricia Turnbull, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Carole Johnson and Ali Johns.

Patricia Turnbull, 65, has ditched the cigarettes and is urging others to give up the habit for Stoptober.

Thousands of smokers in Hartlepool are being encouraged to take part in Stoptober as new data shows quitting success rates are at their highest for at least a decade.

Now in its sixth year, Stoptober has inspired over one and a half million quit attempts since 2012 with nearly 50,000 sign ups so far in the North East.

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The campaign is based on research that if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.

Patricia has saved £700 since she quit cigarettes four months ago and she isn’t thinking about taking it up any time soon.

For many years Patricia’s regular morning routine was a cup of tea and two cigarettes.

However, that daily ritual came back to haunt her when she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Patricia was only 14 when she smoked her first cigarette and said in those days it was norm and everyone smoked.

She said: “I was smoking about 30-a-day and just didn’t see a problem with it, you don’t when you’re young. When I started work as a hairdresser, we all smoked there too.”

Patricia said she never thought of things catching up with her, but then she started to have chest problems and get breathless and was diagnosed with the illness.

She said: “It was a huge shock. I knew I had to make lifestyle changes which involved giving up cigarettes.

“It wasn’t easy. I tried a number of different treatments including chewing gum, patches and even a mouth spray at the clinic in Hartlepool. The one thing that helped me to stop though was seeing the saving I was making each week.

“I’d encourage everyone who smokes to give Stoptober a go.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, chairman of the town’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We all know someone who has felt the devastating effects of a disease or life-limiting illness caused by smoking.

“We’re calling on smokers to make the pledge to take better care of their health, reduce the harmful impact smoking has on their loved ones and lower the burden placed by smoking-related illnesses on the NHS.

“Sign up today and stop for good.”