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Smoke-free - Eight years and counting

A hacking cough and the small fortune he was spending every week were the two motivators that spurred stroke thrombolysis nurse Frank Murray to get help to quit smoking. Eight years on and he’s still off the cigarettes, in large part thanks to the support and advice he got from Anna Fairhurst, RSCH Smoking Cessation Manager.

Frank says: “Anna is very good at reading people and can quickly work out what is going to help you stop smoking. She was very supportive right from the beginning,” As the month-long no smoking campaign Stoptober approaches Frank reflects on how and why he quit. “I decided to give up because of my health and for financial reasons,” he says. “Nursing isn’t the sort of job where you can just pop out for a cigarette and I didn’t like the feeling that I was on edge if I couldn’t have one. You also use it as a crutch, and tell yourself that you’ll feel better once you’ve had a cigarette. But you don’t feel better. A lot of my friends didn’t smoke and I felt I was missing out if I went off to have a cigarette. I also didn’t like to think that I had an addiction.” Frank, who was smoking 20 a day, used nicotine patches to wean him off cigarettes. So what tips would he give someone trying to kick the habit? “Get some support. It really does help,” he says. “Explore what you think will work best for you and then try to stick to it. It is hard. There’s no getting away from it because smoking has become part of the routine of your life.” Frank Murray, stroke thrombolysis nurse On the health and financial fronts, Frank is feeling good. “I like not having that feeling that I’ve got to pop out for a cigarette. I’m glad I’ve quit.”

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