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Inspirational Quitters

QUIT to help her daughter

Jean Day, 67, quit her 20-a-day habit to support her daughter who had been advised by a dentist to stop smoking.

Jean said: “I’m so pleased with myself for achieving this after smoking for 52 years! I’m much better off financially now – I realized if I hadn’t smoked for so long I could have bought my council house by now. I’ve also spent a lot of time decorating to disguise the staining caused by cigarette smoke. Now I have lots of spare money to treat myself.”

QUIT as a couple

John and Elaine Lambert quit smoking together after 40 years.  The couple who both had 40-a-day habits quit using nicotine replacement therapy gum and lozenges and attended their local stop smoking clinic.

Elaine said:” I had to quit to improve my health, but I couldn’t have done it without the support from John.”

John said: “We can both breathe more easily now and have more energy to play with our young grandchildren.”

QUIT smoking for his baby daughter

Des Wooley, 34, quit smoking for his daughter Kylah.  He used NRT patches and inhalator and had the support of his wife and stop smoking advisor.

Des said: “I have recently been registered disabled but even when that happened I wasn’t tempted to go back to smoking.  The best calming influence is my baby daughter.  I’m in pain with my knees all the time but it’s wonderful to be around to see her growing up. I use the money I save by not buying cigarettes to pay for family days out.”

QUIT after a heart attack

Brian Burns, quit smoking after a heart attack gave him the wake up call he needed to lead a healthier lifestyle. Brian was named Quitter of the Year 2006

Brian said: “I’m hoping my success will send out a message to others that it’s never too late to stop smoking. I’m in my 60’s and I can’t believe the difference it’s made to me. For the first time I can consider going on a long haul flight – when I was a smoker I could never consider flying too far because I couldn’t manage without a cigarette for too long.”

QUIT to get fitter

Julie Robinson, 39, quit smoking after realising she couldn’t even mop the floor at work because she was so out of breath.  Julie was named Runner-Up Quitter of the Year 2006.

Julie said, “ Everyone comments on the way I look now that I’ve quit. My spots have gone, my skin is really clear and I even get compliments about my sparkling eyes. I’m exercising regularly and have more energy; I can run without getting out of breath. With the money I’ve saved I treat myself occasionally to new clothes and make-up. There are so many benefits to stopping smoking.”

QUIT a social habit

Albertina Lloyd, 25, quit smoking after her friend’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer.  She was a social smoker and smoked up to 40 cigarettes a night when she was out drinking with friends.

Albertina said: “I always found it hard to resist smoking after a couple of drinks. The QUIT counselling service was brilliant. I could email from work and get tips on how to resist the cravings when I was in the pub later. I do Thai boxing and once I’d stopped smoking I immediately noticed how much healthier I was, I didn’t get out of breath so easily and was able to practice for longer.”

QUIT with her husband

Lynda Munns, 44, quit a 30-year smoking habit with the support of her husband and teenage children.

Lynda said: “My husband Dave and I decided to join a local support group. We’d tried quitting before and I’d always been the one who’d cracked, but this time I was determined, and I finally did it! I feel cleaner, energetic and have more money in my pocket and now I can laugh without coughing.  We’ve even saved money on our life insurance now we’re non-smokers! I was so desperate to give up that I feel almost elated every day and most importantly my children are extremely proud of me. I will never be a smoker again!”

QUIT after a health scare

Douglas Minto, 56, quit a 40-year smoking habit when he was rushed to hospital.

Douglas said, “ You don’t realise how unfit you are as a smoker until you decide to stop. I’m really surprised about the huge benefits, I have a better appetite and breathing; I can walk further and my mind’s sharper.”

QUIT in memory of her mum

Candis Baker, 28, quit smoking after seeing her mum die from emphysema. She quit with her boyfriend when they returned from a backpacking holiday, and was named Quitter of the Year 2005.

Candis said: “We were amazed by the price of UK cigarettes. I just went out one day bought nicotine patches instead of cigarettes. It was much easier to quit with someone else – we gave each other so much support. We also hadn’t realised how much of your life smoking takes up. We suddenly had all this time on our hands!”

Candis Baker

QUIT to take his daughter on holiday

Glenn Casson, 47, stopped smoking so he could afford to take his family on holiday after his daughter pleaded to go abroad.

Glenn said: “I stopped for my little girl.  She really wanted a holiday and I knew we couldn’t afford it because I was spending all of our money on cigarettes.   Now I’ve given up we’ve had more holidays and I can really see how much smoking was costing me.  I am also so much healthier now – I don’t have to worry about my asthma anymore.”

QUIT to save his leg

Donald Collins, 73, quit a 50-year smoking habit after serious health warnings from his doctor.

Donald said: “I’m proof that it’s never too late to quit.  The doctor warned me I could lose my leg if I didn’t stop smoking, so I stopped! I feel so much better now I’ve done it and I tell people “If I can do it, you can.” I know it’s one of the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Donald now helps other smokers who want to quit and has supported a variety of local stop smoking initiatives.

QUIT for his family

Russell Welsh, 39, quit after his wife became pregnant and he was diagnosed with a rare disease that may eventually lead to blindness.

Russell said: “I quit for my family. I want to be there when my children grow up. I might go blind, so I want to make sure I can be involved in my daughters’ lives in every other way possible.”

QUIT to support her sick husband

Susan Mortimore, 50, quit while her husband was in hospital getting treatment for cancer.

Susan said: “I quit so I could support my husband. I felt guilty leaving him in the hospital to go outside and have a cigarette, so I made the decision then to stop smoking so that I could be there for him. I tried to keep focused on why I was quitting, for my husband, and for my grandchildren. I’m so pleased I did it!“

QUIT so he could play with his grandson

Eddie Couttie, 57, quit smoking for his grandchildren after a 40-year habit.

Eddie said: “I quit after getting short of breath while playing with my grandson.  I thought I was having a heart attack and vowed then to stop smoking. I tried to think of quitting as a day-by-day process and concentrate on the benefits of stopping smoking, particularly the financial gains. And now I’m not so tired, I have more energy for hobbies, and for my grandson.”

QUIT for her daughters

Claire Howes, 41, quit smoking for her three daughters.

Claire said: “I decided to quit after my back surgeon told me smoking was making my health problems worse.  I wanted to set a good example to my teenage daughters -they constantly nagged me about smoking, and when the doctor warned me I could be making my back worse I knew I had to quit.  I’m so much more relaxed now and feel great.”

QUIT for her young son

Lucy Twigge, 33, decided to quit after starting a new job on a neonatal ward at her local hospital, and for the sake of her son’s health.

Lucy said “Starting my job was definitely an incentive to quit. I felt so guilty looking after premature babies while I smelt of smoke, breathing all over them.  And my doctor had warned me that smoking was affecting my son George’s health. I’m so glad I made the decision to quit, and my success inspired my husband to stop smoking too.”

QUIT to save her life

Julie Almond, 34, Previously a 30-a day smoker Julie started smoking due to

peer pressure. A blood clot to her lungs shocked her into stopping smoking.

Julie said: “I was

rushed in to hospital with pains in my chest and coughing up blood. Doctors

told me that I had only been using my left lung due to the blood clot. If I

had continued smoking it would have killed me. I have children who need me

and I am just thankful to be alive.

QUIT for

his partner and baby

Adam Clay

25, quit smoking so that his baby could grow up in a smoke free home. He

then inspired friends and family to quit.

Adam said: “Since quitting I feel like a different person. I’m a much

better footballer; I don’t feel light headed and wheezy. People at work are

impressed that I’ve quit. Stopping smoking has really changed my life for

the better and I I’m now hoping to train to be a stop smoking Counsellor.”

QUIT for Rugby

16 year old

Steven O’Keefe, from Huddersfield had smoked since he was 12. He finally

quit to improve his rugby and to please his girlfriend. Stopping smoking

helped Steven to win Player of the Year 2004.

He said: “I have used the money saved to buy tickets to watch

professional rugby and plan to take my girlfriend away on holiday soon. I am

now hoping to get a scholarship to play for Huddersfield Giants.”

QUIT for son in America


Richardson, 63, from Sunderland was determined to visit her son in America,

but the only way she could afford the trip was to stop smoking!

Sadly many people close to Lydia died from smoking related illnesses –

her first husband from Emphysema, both her sister and partner from heart

attacks and her brother-in-law from lung cancer.

She said: “Not only did I see my son and daughter-in-law, I also visited

Graceland, a life-long dream, thanks to quitting smoking.”

QUIT for children


Roberts, 40 stopped smoking after 24 years for the sake of her two young

children and rewarded herself with a Yorkshire Terrier Pup!

She said: “On turning 40 I decided I’d had enough, with the help of my

two children I stopped smoking. I can now play games with my children and

the pup without getting out of breath! My mum and best-friend have followed

my example and have also stopped smoking.

Leicestershire Teacher wins Quitter of the Year


When Sarah Thorold, 31, was caught smoking by her pupils after telling them

of the dangers of smoking – she knew she had to quit! She was named Quitter

of the Year 2004.

She said: “My life has changed dramatically. The death of my best

friend’s father from lung cancer was a shock. I supported my friend during

her quitting process and knew I had to quit too. I feel that smoking is not

worth it anymore and I just wouldn’t swop the benefits of quitting.”

Elvis Tribute Performer QUITS

Geoffrey Van

Den Heede, 60 of Wales used to smoke up to 80 cigarettes a day even whilst

performing at packed out gigs. Ill health and losing his mother, father, and

younger brother to smoking was the stark warning he needed to help him quit.

Geoffrey said: “My voice was suffering, I was coughing up blood. My

doctor warned me that smoking could eventually kill me. Now with the money

saved from stopping smoking, I bought enough gold rings to wear on all my

fingers and a new costume to use as part of my act.”

Dad QUITS for his daughter

Nick Wiseman,

30, of Suffolk, was addicted to smoking for 18 years. Witnessing her Grandad

die of lung cancer distressed Sophia to the point where she feared for her

own father’s life.

Nick said: “My daughter was all the incentive I needed. I could not bear

to see her crying over my smoking habit any longer, so I quit. I have

learned the hard way that life is for living. With the money saved I bought

my dream car I am now looking forward to taking my family on holiday to Euro


QUIT for

his partner and baby

Christopher Brooks,

28 started smoking as a teenager and was soon smoking 80 a day when out with

friends, but he was shocked into quitting when he discovered that he

couldn’t climb stairs without becoming breathless.

Christopher said: “I

always believed that quitting was impossible. I enjoyed smoking and all my

friends smoked. It was my partner’s pregnancy, as well as concern for my

health, that gave me the will-power to stop.”

QUIT to keep fit

Armstrong, 25,
from London, used the Keep QUIT programme to help her stop
smoking. She found it a tremendous support throughout her quit attempt
and it continues to help her stay quit and fit.

Penny said: “It’s been 5 months now and I’m still exercising
and not smoking. I even took part in the Great North Run to raise money
for charity, and achieved a personal best time! I think one of the main
advantages of Keep QUIT has been feeling the benefits of stopping that
much quicker –
with my fitness improving dramatically almost daily.”

QUIT for her daughters


the dramatic effects of lung cancer and having four nagging daughters were

the incentives needed to make Sharon Reid from Brighton to stop


Both her bronchitis

and pleurisy have disappeared Sharon said “With the money saved my family

are off to Cyprus this year to attend my daughters wedding.


treat his wife

Kenneth Bennett,

73 of South Glamorgan is proof that it is never too late to reap the

benefits of a smoke free life. After 42 years of smoking, he quit.

Kenneth said: “I began smoking in 1953 after coming out of the army. The turning

point was a trip to America in 1996 when I realised that smoking was no

longer a socially acceptable past-time. I’ve now set up a direct debit

account with my cigarette money and plan to take my wife on a


QUIT for

her baby


Humphreys, 30, of Cumbria was named Quitter of the Year

2003. Lynne quit smoking when her thirteen month old son, Kavan was admitted

in to hospital with breathing difficulties. Despite nurses reassuring her

that her smoking was in no way responsible for his ill-health, Lynne made a

commitment to stop smoking.

She said: I quit smoking for my

little one, Kavan. I want to stay healthy and fit in order to be there for

him in later life – So this is for him!

QUIT in memory of his


Douglas Munro,

50, of Glasgow, quit his 31-year smoking habit after the tragic death of a lifelong friend.

Douglas said: “I tried

giving up before but never managed to find the will-power. My best friend’s

tragic death was a stark reminder of how precarious life can be.”

QUIT for her sister


Mohan from Coventry quit smoking in the hope that she could donate

a kidney for her sister who needed a transplant. Even when Bridget knew

she was unable to help she did not resort to smoking.

“The disappointment

almost made me reach for the cigarettes again. But if I couldn’t help

Julie, I was determined not to damage my health any more.” As encouragement,

Bridget’s partner put the price of a packet of cigarettes in a Quit Tin

every day. By the end of the first year there was enough money for the

down payment on double-glazing.

But the best part

for Bridget was in terms of her health .”I’m totally free from the

chronic eczema that’s plagued me for years,” she says. “The

skin specialists can’t explain why exactly, but I’m drawing my own conclusions!”

Grace Williams

QUIT and get fit

Karen Griffiths


Griffiths from Caerphilly became a heavy smoker when she was tragically

widowed at 23, with one young son and another on the way.

She tried to give

up many times without success – until four years ago, when she announced

publicly that she was quitting.

“My confidence

has grown enormously since then. I joined a gym and aerobics class, which

I loved so much I went on to train as an aerobics teacher. I’ve got so

much energy my friends call me Pentathlon Woman. Life’s so much better

without cigarettes!”

Pay for the big day

Ciara started smoking at 14 “to look cool and fit in.” She was

shocked into quitting 11 years later when her father had a stroke and was told if he had been a smoker

he would have been dead. The money Ciara

saved from not smoking meant she could have a dream wedding, lavish reception

and a honeymoon in Paris.



to save her husband’s life


Williams from Hereford decided to quit when she was 58 and sitting

by her husband’s beside in an Intensive Care Unit. ”I

knew if he pulled through he would not survive much longer if he carried

on smoking and if I continued to smoke then he would never be able to

kick the habit himself,” she said. “After explaining my plan to my daughter and son-in-law

they added their support by agreeing to stop smoking too.”

As long term smokers

they all really suffered in the beginning. It took them quite a while

to stop craving cigarettes but now they are reaping the benefits. Having

never been inside a gym before, they now go three times a week!

From heart attacks to running marathons


Spencer from Doncaster had a heart attack at 46 that fortunately persuaded

him to quit smoking. John now spends a great deal of his time raising

money for charity. Only 18 months after his heart attack he was among

the first in his group to reach the top of Ben Nevis. Now the former smoker

jogs three times a week, rides a mountain bike and he ran the London Marathon

for QUIT.

QUIT for your kids

Carol Hayes from Liverpool was pestered by her children to stop smoking. Carol smoked

between 20 – 30 a day for 25 years. Her children’s concern was Carol’s

main reason to quit. Carol soon realised she couldn’t use stress as a

reason to have “just one” cigarette as there are always stressful

situations. After 4-5 attempts Carol successfully quit. She decided to

write a poem about her experiences and now her GP has copied the poem

and is distributing it to other young Mums who smoke.

Quitting Saved Dogs Life

“I had never

considered stopping smoking until we wanted to rescue a stray dog we fell

in love with when we went to Greece. We knew unless we brought him home

he would be killed with all the other dogs at the end of the holiday season

and I surprised myself that I even thought of quitting,” admitted Cheryl Dinning.

While on holiday in

Greece, a Yorkshire couple found a stray dog who would be killed unless

they saved enough money to rescue it. The only way Steve Hague and Cheryl

Dinning thought they could save money was to quit smoking.

Both smokers for many

years, they found it difficult to quit at first. The main thing that kept

them going was thinking of the dog in quarantine kennels and feeling he

was suffering more than them. Now, both Steve and Cheryl have found their

health has improved and enjoy taking their dog for long walks.

“Since we’ve

stopped smoking we have so much more money to spend and we both feel healthier

and happier,” Cheryl said.