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13 March 2013, 06:00
Twenty workers for the same Suffolk company are all going to try and quit smoking from today on national No Smoking Day.
One of them is Bernie Walsh, who is a Production Manager at PPG Distribution in Stowmarket.
Bernie has smoked since the age of 14, says that after smoking for over 35 years he really wants to quit, so he’s signed up to attend free weekly stop smoking clinics which will be run at his workplace by trained stop smoking advisors from Live Well Suffolk.
Bernie says: “I first began smoking when I was a boy and I’ve tried several times before to quit but it’s always been incredibly difficult. I’m a little nervous as I know how hard it will be, but I’m confident that this time will be different as I will be using the services offered by Live Well Suffolk.”
“Previously, I had attempted to stop by myself but I’ve been told that the additional support will make a big difference and will help me deal with any nicotine cravings.”
Bernie currently spends £30 a week on his cigarettes, which would represent a saving of over £1,500 a year if he is successful. Although he had never considered the financial implications of stopping smoking, he admits that his biggest motivation is improving his health and pleasing his wife.
He says: “My wife isn’t the biggest fan of smoking and I know that she will be over the moon if I can stop. I’m also hoping that quitting will help me feel a lot healthier and will help me sleep better – I currently feel quite tired and I’m sure that having a healthier lifestyle will make a big difference.”
Bernie admits that he is worried that quitting smoking will lead to an inevitable weight gain and he is also conscious that nicotine cravings may lead to moodiness.
He concludes: “I’m hoping that my family and friends will give me lots of encouragement although I’m sure that may change if I get too grumpy! I know how hard it will be but ultimately my biggest motivation will be having a longer life – I want to be fit and healthy for when I have grandchildren.”
Over the next twelve weeks, he will be attending free weekly stop smoking clinics where he will have the option of group therapy or one-to-one sessions.
During each session, the Live Well team will include advice and support on how to cope with cravings and control weight gain.