As part of No Smoking Day 2023, Gordon Darnell shares how we helped him and his wife, Muriel, successfully quit smoking and the adventures it has since led to.
“Since my wife and I stopped smoking, we have been able to take that money and go on some incredible holidays.
“We’ve been to Brisbane in Australia and in the Gold Coast twice. Lanzarote, Gibraltar, Madeira, and Portugal. We been on two cruises, Dubai twice as well as Hong Kong and Singapore. That’s not including all the other places we’ve to across Europe!
“I quit smoking in 2012, having smoked for many years and smoked quite heavily.
“When I started smoking, it didn’t worry me because there’s such a history of cancer within my family so I thought if I smoke or if I don’t smoke, it’ll kill me anyway.
“I smoked quite heavily. I had a very pressurised job, and I spent a lot of the time away from home. Smoking was my way to manage that stress but it was costing so much money. I was probably spending over £100 a week on cigarettes – and this was over 10, 20 years ago. Goodness knows what the equivalent would be now!
It’s thanks to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation that my wife and I were able to stop smoking. W e went to the charity’s smoking cessation group, FagEnds and they were really supportive.
“They offered us support in terms of alternatives to smoking. There was gum available and patches. But it was the inhaler that worked for me. Literally, as I was walking from the chemist, and I put that in my mouth I thought ‘I can stop smoking now’.
“I went in on the Friday – and I was probably smoking 50-60 cigarettes a day. By the following Friday, I was down to 30. The week after it was 15, and the week after that it was gone. And I’ve never smoked since.
“It’s about finding the right stop smoking tool that works for you. Everyone is different so find what’s right for us. The support group played a huge role in us being able to quit too. Their encouragement was vital. It made me do everything I could to not let them down.
“Quitting smoking has opened up a whole new world for us, and we owe it to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. I honestly believe we wouldn’t have achieved it without them.”