Read about Nathan Freeman’s quit attempt…
When Nathan Freeman started feeling out of breath while out walking with his family, he knew that he needed to act before it was too late. In May 2018, he stopped smoking after 37 years and is already feeling “immense” benefits to his health that are enabling to him to enjoy more activities with his wife and three children. Now, he is encouraging others to make a quit attempt in Stoptober.
Nathan, 48, who works as a production controller in the manufacturing industry, said: “I smoked my first cigarette with my mates when I was 11 and it soon became an everyday habit that was just part of life.
“At its peak, I was smoking around 15 a day. I tried to stop a couple of times over the years: when my first child was born and when I turned 40, but I ended up starting again.
“When I was younger, I didn’t really think about the damage I was doing to my health. But now I’m getting older, I started to notice that I was struggling for breath when walking uphill and was panting and puffing.
“I thought, ‘this is ridiculous’ and knew I had to do something about it, not just for me, but for my family.”
Nathan has been receiving support to quit through his local pharmacy in Hylton Castle, Sunderland. He said: “In the past, I had thought that I could just stop on my own, but this time I decided to get some support. The staff at the pharmacy have been excellent and understand what you are going through.
“I find the weekly checks are good for my motivation and there is also financial assistance with nicotine replacement therapies, such as nasal sprays, which I found helpful.”
Just 10 weeks after quitting, Nathan says he is feeling “immense” benefits to his health. He said: “I took my children to St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay and was able to climb all the 137 steps without stopping, which would have been impossible for me a few months ago. The difference in just a short space of time is immense.”
Nathan has some helpful advice for people thinking about quitting during Stoptober. “Be sure that you want to quit, as it’s all in your head and is not going to be easy. But, once you make that decision, there is lots of support out there so you don’t have to do it alone.
“I would recommend visiting your local pharmacy and also trying the nasal spray as that worked well for me.”