“I have pretty bad asthma and that’s so much better now. I used to have to use my blue inhaler regularly and now I hardly use it.”
The death of a friend and a return to the North East to look after his mum forced Danny Patterson from North Shields to re-assess his life, take action and quit.
He said: “When I quit, I was on 10 to 15 a day. I had been living away from home for six years, teaching English. A guy I knew died of lung cancer in 2021 and then my mum got sick and needed a heart operation. I decided to come home to look after her and I thought, when I get back, I’m going to stop smoking.
“I stopped in August 2021 using nicotine patches from the pharmacy. I made an appointment with the pharmacist, and she did an assessment and recommended nicotine replacement therapy. I have an appointment with her every two weeks, and we talk about how I am doing, and she gives me more patches with a lower dose. I am on the minimum dose now.”
Stopping smoking was hard for Danny – but breathing got so much easier.
He said: “I have pretty bad asthma and that is so much better now. I used to have to use my blue inhaler regularly and now I hardly use it. I am also eating healthier and have lost quite a lot of weight – two stone. Stopping smoking was really hard, but I breathe so much better now which has helped.
“Once I had been on the nicotine patches for a while it got a lot easier, and I am determined to keep going. I used to wake up and the first thing I would do is have a cigarette. Or if something stressful happened the first thing I would do is smoke. Now I don’t even think about it.
Danny is confident he will soon be able to continue without patches but he’s determined not to start smoking again.
He said: “If I do feel a craving, I remind myself how bad it was. I am on the final stage of the patches now. I am excited but also a little bit worried that I will start craving cigarettes again. But I won’t go back to it, I’ve come too far.”