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'I've saved so much by stopping smoking'.

PHILLIP TULLEY smoked his first cigarette when aged just seven. By the time he was 16 he smoked 20 a day. He later moved on to rolling his own tobacco.

Phillip, aged 37, of Stivichall, Coventry, says the habit had taken its toll on his health.

"I was waking up in the morning, and the first thing I did was cough and sometimes retch," he says. "My energy levels were low and I wheezed a lot."

Phillip's GP referred him to his local NHS Stop Smoking Service, which he attended in August. He received one-to-one advice to help him manage nicotine cravings and urges to smoke and was supplied a course of nicotine patches. "I have not smoked a cigarette since and I'm confident I will stop for good," he says.

The benefits are already immense. "I am not coughing as I was and I am sleeping a lot better," he says. "I have also saved a lot of money. I use the money which I used to spend on tobacco to buy CDs and clothes.

"My view is that to stop smoking you must get psyc holo gically ready and you need will power - but I would definitely recommend the NHS Stop Smoking Service. They will advise you about the best way to stop smoking and help you to prepare for your quit attempt as well as get products to help you with nicotine cravings, like Nicotine Replacement Therapy."

As Phillip's story highlights, getting support pays dividends in the battle to stop smoking. You will give yourself up to four times the chance of success if you use NHS Support to help you beat the habit.

And stopping makes good financial sense as well.

At today's rates, a 20-a-day smoker will spend almost pounds 40,000 over the next 20 years.

If they stopped for six weeks they would have saved pounds 226.80 and enough for a digital camera, after nine months there would be a saving of pounds 1,360.80 and enough for a top of the range TV.

And quitting doesn't have to be costly - NRT and other stop-smoking medicines are available on prescription, while local NHS Stop Smoking Services, the Together Programme and the NHS Smoking Helpline are all FREE!

Research shows that you are up to four times more likely to stop smoking if you use NHS Support. For more information call 0800 121 4637, text Advice to 63818 or visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 31, 2008
Words:423
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