Tameside woman kicks £60k smoking habit thanks to NHS service

A Tameside woman has kicked a 30-a-day smoking habit, which has cost her an estimated £60,000* over 47 years. Mary Henshaw (1)

Mary Henshaw, 58 from Denton has finally quit for good thanks to health improvement service Be Well Tameside, part of Pennine Care Foundation Trust. 

She has shared the story of her decision to quit and the fantastic support she received, in order to inspire others to take the first steps towards quitting.                 

Mary, who had her first cigarette at 11 years old, has now been smoke free for almost four months. She decided to give up smoking, not only for her own health, but because she was worried about the impact her habit was having on her boyfriend.

Though she had managed to give up smoking in the past, Mary thinks because of the support of Be Well Tameside team, she’ll now manage to quit for good.

Mary worked with Gina Eades-Richards, senior health and wellbeing advisor for Be Well Tameside in one-to-one sessions.

Mary said: “The service I received was great. I knew that, with someone looking after me, I would finally be able to give up smoking. My boyfriend is over the moon that I’ve quit; he’s so proud I’ve made it this far.

“I am continuing to see Gina because I want to lose weight. I have already made some simple changes to my diet, like swapping white bread for wholemeal, cutting down on unhealthy snacks and eating more fruit and vegetables. Now that my breathing is better, I have also started to walk more.”

Not only has Mary started to feel the health benefits, she’s also been enjoying the extra money in her pocket. She added: “Since quitting, I’ve saved around £400 a month. I’m putting that money towards a holiday with my boyfriend.”

Gina, who supported Mary throughout her treatment, said: “Mary was determined to give up smoking from the onset. It has been a real pleasure supporting her through her quit journey and I feel so pleased that she is already reaping the benefits and continuing to make more healthy changes. Well done Mary!”

Following Mary’s success, Be Well Tameside is encouraging smokers across the borough to be aware of the health risks and to seek advice on how to quit.

Happe Hoque, health and wellbeing co-ordinator for Be Well Tameside, said: “Many people want to quit as part of their New Year’s resolution, but it can be difficult to do it alone. We are here to help!

“We can also offer help and support around making lots of other healthy improvements to your life, including eating better, getting more exercise, reducing alcohol, improving sleep and more.

“We will chat to you about what you want to achieve and work with you to create a plan that’s just right for you."

To find out more, people can contact the Be Well Tameside Team by phoning 0161 716 2000, emailing: bewelltameside@nhs.net or visiting www.penninecare.nhs.uk/bewelltameside