A local man has thanked health experts for helping him quit smoking and get on his bike.
With the help of the George Eliot Hospital run Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service and the Manor Court GP Surgery, Jim Jarvis from Nuneaton, has kicked his 30-a-day habit and is now closing in on completing 1000 miles on his bike, something Jim says he would not have previously been able to do.
Jim had his last cigarette on Saturday 1st May 2010 and decided to use some of the money he saved to buy a bike. He explains: “I needed something to take my mind off smoking, I’m not really sure why I chose cycling, but I’m hooked now. I suppose I’ve just changed one addiction for another. It’s amazing, I can just get on my bike and cycle 20 miles without even thinking about it, I would never have been able to do that a when I was smoking, no way! Since I’ve quit, I’ve cycled nearly 1,000 miles.”
Jim quit smoking at the third time of trying and believes it was the best thing he ever did: “I knew it was time to do something when I tried to carry some camera equipment less than a mile and nearly collapsed through exhaustion. It really scared me. But since I’ve quit, I’ve been able to do things I never thought I’d be able to, it’s totally changed my life.”
At over £5 per pack, it’s not only Jim’s health that is feeling the benefit of quitting smoking. But as Jim explains, it’s not only the money he used to spend on cigarettes that he’s saving: “Every time I went in to buy a packet of cigarettes I’d also end up buying a sandwich or a drink or a bar of chocolate. So by the time I’d left the shop it wasn’t unusual to have spent almost £10. I’ve now got all this money to spend on other things, including this fantastic bike.”
Jim is full of praise for the help he received from Practice Nurses at Manor Court Surgery and Zoe Jennison from the Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service: “I couldn’t have done it without them. The support and practical advice they gave me was brilliant and they seemed so genuinely happy that I succeeded.”
Zoe congratulated Jim on his achievement: “Jim is a true success story and hearing of his achievement makes my job seem extremely worthwhile. While he did use nicotine replacement drugs to control his cravings, so much of his success was down to determination, a lot more than he probably realises and the fact he stuck with it after a couple of failed attempts makes it all the more pleasing.”
To help him quit, Jim used the prescription drug, Champix; however, there are a whole range of treatments and support available to those looking to quit. The Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service or your GP will work with you to create a quitting programme that suits you. For more information, visit your GP or contact the service on 0800 085 2917. Alternatively, text ‘LIFE’ to 80800 or visit www.smokefreewarwickshire.org