Quit smoking - William and Maureen Gooder (1)

A Nantwich couple who have given up cigarettes after smoking for 100 years between them are urging others to quit.

We revealed earlier this year how Maureen and William Gooder put a century of tobacco addiction behind them after taking part in a support programme.

Now they are backing the NHS’s “Stoptober” challenge by saying it is never too late to stub out cigarettes – after saving themselves almost £4,000 in less than a year!

Maureen, 70, began smoking as a teenager and regularly smoked up to 20 cigarettes each day, while William, 73, began the habit aged 16.

The couple say they are healthier – and richer – after they supported each other to give up smoking earlier this year.

They had the help of hospital-based tobacco addiction treatment service CURE, funded by Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance (CMCA).

The CURE smoking cessation team approached Maureen in January when she was having treatment for breathing difficulties at Crewe’s Leighton Hospital.

After she returned home, William asked to join her on the 10-week programme and both were supported with treatment to give up, including with nicotine replacement therapy.

The couple are still tobacco-free and recently moved from Nantwich to Prestatyn, in North Wales.

They say they are feeling far healthier since quitting eight months ago – and have much more money to spend in their retirement.

William said: “We are both feeling much better for it. We both have more energy and food tastes better.

“We are also saving a lot of money and have calculated we have about £4,000 a year extra!

“I never thought I would see the day that Maureen and I would give up smoking. We’d talked about it but the CURE programme helped us to actually do it.

“We did it together as a couple, supported each other and we are so happy we did.

“It just shows that you are never too old to give up smoking.

“It is strange, but after more than 50 years of cigarettes I can’t stand the smell of them now. I only wish I’d given up sooner.”

William and Maureen Gooder with CURE Specialist Nurses Jo (left) and Steph (right) (1)

CMCA has been funding CURE projects for patients at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The projects help patients wanting to quit tobacco with a package of support and treatment, regarding smoking as an addiction that should be treated as an illness.

The CURE team engages with patients in hospital when they may have an increased motivation to quit and prescribe medication that can help.

Support is continued when patients return home from hospital.

The projects are reporting good success rates and a high proportion of those who give up stay tobacco free.

Dr Gareth Jones, a consultant at Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust and CMCA tobacco control clinical lead, said: “This example shows the importance of inpatient smoking cessation programmes, like the CMCA supported CURE programme.

“Helping unwell smokers while they are in hospital leads to long-term success in quitting and being supported to stay off cigarettes halves the chances of being re-admitted to hospital.

“Quitting smoking is one of the single most important things anyone can do for their overall health – not just physical and mental but financial as well.

“Giving up as a couple or with someone else can make a quit attempt more likely to succeed.

“I’m really pleased for Maureen and William, they have proved it’s never too late to quit.”

William added: “I’d highly recommend anyone who smokes going on the CURE programme if they have the opportunity.

“They made it easy for us to quit and there was the support we needed behind us.

“Maureen was a patient who qualified to go on the programme, but I wasn’t, and I’m so grateful they decided to help me as well. It has been wonderful for both of us.”

CMCA is hoping to support the roll out of other similar programmes in more trusts across Cheshire and Merseyside.

For more information about quitting smoking this Stoptober, see: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/

Stoptober image - quit smoking

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