For over 22 years of his life, Paul Abbott was a heavy smoker. Even at the age of 18, Paul was dependant on nicotine and smoked at least 35 cigarettes a day.
However, in 2013 Paul’s life would take a dramatic turn for the worse when he was diagnosed COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). COPD is a chronic lung disease which is mainly caused by smoking. He was also given under 10 years to live if he continued smoking.
This devastating news would crumble most, but Paul decided he wouldn’t let this disease beat him.
Paul came knew he needed help and that is when he reached out to The Kaleidoscope Plus Group. As soon as The Kaleidoscope Plus Group heard about Paul’s situation, he was enrolled into a 12 week Stop Smoking Service provided by The Kaleidoscope Plus Group and Quit 51, part of the NHS Smoke Free campaign.
Paul had his last cigarette a few days into his 12 week programme but since then, thanks to The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, Paul has stuck to the “Not a Puff” rule set out by NHS guidelines for smoking cessation programmes and has been smoke free.
Since finishing the programme, Paul Abbott sat down with Community Wellbeing’s, Amy Watling-Cash for a Q&A to talk about his journey of quitting smoking.
Q: How does it feel to be a non-smoker?
A: “Good, really good, I’m really pleased!”
Q: Did you ever believe you would be able to go this long without a cigarette?
A: “No, not at all – I had been smoking for 22 years!”
Q: Was being diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) a big factor is giving up smoking?
A: The doctor said I’d have under ten years left to live and it took a year to sink in really, then I knew I needed to give up smoking.”
Q: Did having children effect your decision to give up?
A: “It was the main reason, even over and above my own health. “My 14 year old Daughter was constantly nagging me!”
Q: Has your health improved since quitting?
A: “Definitely, my breathing has improved. I used to stop all the time when I did housework at home, now I don’t need too. I used to use my nebulizer four times a day and now I don’t need it. I’m using my inhaler a lot less too.”
Q: How did you cope with the cravings when you first started your quit attempted?
A: “The inhalator was a great help, because I missed the hand to mouth action of smoking and I also used mints for the first few days.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering quitting smoking, especially about Nicotine Replacement Therapy and the Stop Smoking Service?
A: “You have to have the motivation to quit! “After the first week it does get easier and the NRT patches and products really help. “I had tried to quit before and didn’t seek help which only made it more of an uphill struggle. “Quitting is so much so much easier with the right support.”
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group congratulates Paul Abbott on successfully quitting smoking and if you too want help to quit smoking, please do not hesitate to contact Amy on 07795952676 or the Community Wellbeing team on 0121 565 5605.