Droylsden man breaks £110k ‘lifetime’ smoking habit thanks to NHS support
Derek Bailey, 76, had been smoking since school – which has cost him an estimated £109,500*.
Derek made the decision in early December 2018 to give up cigarettes completely, and reached out to Be Well Tameside for support.
Derek said: “I’ve successfully given up smoking for nine months before, and I tried to quit on other occasions, but I didn’t manage to give up for good.
“Now, thanks to support from Be Well Tameside, I feel like I have the strength of mind to make it stick.”
Health concerns and money were a big factor in Derek’s decision to become smoke-free. But the ill health and unfortunate death of his partner Margaret, who was also a smoker, gave Derek the final push he needed to quit permanently.
Derek said: “I was Margaret’s full-time career for six years before she died, so I ignored my own health because hers was always more important.
“Now Margaret’s gone, I have more time to myself. I can do something for myself, and what better thing to do than look after my own health.”
Derek still gets regular support from Be Well Tameside and is positive that quitting smoking is one of the best things he’s ever done.
He added: “The team are fantastic. They come in to monitor and check on me regularly, and always give me support when I need it.
“I can now take deep breaths which is fantastic. It’s not been easy, but I’m so glad I’ve done it.”
When asked what his secret is to stopping smoking, Derek said: “If you have a positive attitude and want to quit it’s definitely possible.
“You might not quit first time, but if you keep trying you’ll get there in the end.”
Lobna Begum-Haris, specialist stop smoking lead with Be Well Tameside, said: “Derek’s story shows that anyone can quit smoking with the right support.
“No Smoking Day is a great opportunity to make that commitment to quit, but we offer support all year round. You’re four times more likely to quit with specialist support.
“It’s never too late to quit smoking or to start improving your health. If you live or work in Tameside then Be Well Tameside is here to help.”
Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “Thanks to the dedicated hard work of the Be Well Tameside team, smokers in the borough have the support they need if they’re looking to kick the habit and have a fresh start. This work forms a vital part of our ongoing commitment to reduce the smoking rate in the area."
*Pictured: Derek with Julie Havern, health and wellbeing advisor