With a new baby on the way and his health deteriorating, 37-year-old Jodie Clarke was scared he wouldn’t reach his 40th birthday.  Being around for his family was Jodie’s catalyst to stop smoking and thanks to Livewell’s support and free treatments, he’s celebrating 10 weeks smokefree. 

Jodie is backing Stoptober which starts on 1 October and encourages people to quit during October.  Studies show that if you can stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stay stopped. 

The dad of four from Darley Abbey has smoked heavily since he was 13.  He was recently diagnosed with emphysema – a progressive lung condition that is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Smoking is the most common cause.  His doctor explained that it usually affects older adults so Jodie, who, like many smokers had tried a few times to stop smoking before, decided it was time to quit for good together with his pregnant partner.

“My breathing was getting worse, just walking up the stairs left me gasping.  I was on three inhalers and multiple medications to manage my different health conditions.  It was all getting too much.  I realized I could be dead by 40 leaving my children fatherless and giving up smoking was the best step I could take.

I had tried quitting with Livewell before, so I joined again.  My advisor, Shaun supported me from the start.  He suggested a free course of nicotine replacement products - a higher strength 21mg patch to reduce my withdrawal symptoms through the day along with gum to help deal with immediate urges to smoke, which I picked up from a fortnightly drop-in session.  Being able to get advice really helped overcome the cravings and Livewell switched the gum to mouth spray when I explained I didn’t get on with it.

Getting through the first couple of weeks was the hardest but Shaun motivated me to keep going, he’s been amazing. Now I’m through the toughest few weeks, I don’t feel I’ll ever go back.  Although the midwife explained that nicotine replacement products are safe to use during pregnancy, my partner decided to quit cold turkey and I’m proud of her and the way we have supported each other.

My eldest son is 13, the age I started smoking, and is chuffed that we’ve stopped.  Despite us never smoking near the kids or in the house, they were aware that it was damaging our health and they are happy we’ve quit.  

I feel better already both mentally and physically, I can breathe easier, and I don’t cough as much. Hopefully I’ve prevented further damage to my lungs and, as a result, I’ll live longer.  The other benefit is having the extra money in our pockets – around £50 a week which will come in handy when the baby arrives in March.

I’m sharing my story to inspire others in Derby to get the support they need this Stoptober from Livewell, family and friends to quit for good.”

Livewell advisor, Shaun Benning said:

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Jodie and witness his progress, he was determined to succeed and the nicotine replacement products alongside the behavioural support we provided helped him to get there.  You’re around three times more likely to quit if you use treatments alongside stop smoking support, so smokers in Derby can boost their chances of success even further by using Livewell for their quit attempt during Stoptober.” 

Inspired to quit?

Livewell offers free confidential support from specialist advisors and up to 10 weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy products to Derby residents. To find out more and book a phone appointment to get started, visit the Livewell website.