A lorry driver who managed to kick his 30-a-day cigarette habit is starring in a new anti-smoking campaign.
Smokers will be able to hear and read the real life stories of people who have quit smoking with the help of NHS Stop Smoking Services.
Eddie Fish, 48, from Ashton, Preston, is one of the faces of the new radio, poster and leaflet promotion, which hopes to inspire and motivate smokers to think ‘well if they can do it, so can I’.
The dad-of-five sufferers from long-term lung disease as a result of his smoking.
He said: “I used to smoke 30-a-day and I suffer for it now. I’ve got chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema, which basically means my lungs have had it.
“I really regret it. If I’d have known when I started how I would be here today, I wouldn’t have smoked.
“On days when the weather is damp and murky I get a flare-up on my chest and I really struggle to breathe.
“I’ve got three different sorts of inhalers, I’ve had steroid treatment, you name it, I’ve had it.”
Research shows that smokers who try to quit with the help of a NHS Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to succeed than those who try to quit on their own.
He said: “I had been to the Stop Smoking Service before, but I went back because I had a bit of a relapse.
“I quit for nearly a year, but then I was in a bad mood one day, one thing led to another and I picked up a fag.
“They gave me nicotine patches and gum and when I was having a low point, if I felt like I wanted a cigarette, I would ring them up and the lady would speak to me over the phone or invite me in.”
Eddie quit for good on his second attempt.
He said: “She was really nice and there for me all the way. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Julie Tresize, of Central Lancashire’s NHS Stop Smoking Service, said: “We want to make smokers aware that their Stop Smoking Service is here to help and support them every step of the way.
“We help thousands of smokers quit for good every year and our service is completely free to everyone.”
Smokers can find out more information by visiting www.letsquitlancashire.co.uk.
Alternatively, text ‘Quit’ to 60070 and a representative from the service will call you back within two working days.