Stopping smoking: Halifax neighbours' road dubbed 'Quitters Street' after they all give up smoking together including one who had been smoking since he was 11
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The neighbours, who all live in the Warley area, have also found a new lease of life, organising trips to places in Yorkshire they’ve never been to before and doing up their homes.
Clifford Byram-Leech, 68, who started smoking at just 11, said: “I had a partner for 23 years who died of cancer caused by cigarette smoking, and I saw what he went through.
"When he wasn’t very well, I gave up smoking for six months but when he died, I started smoking again because of the stress.
“This time, when I gave up for good, it was because my friends said I should do it and that it would be good for my health if I did.
"My neighbours pushed me into coming to the support service for peer support which was the best thing they could have done for me.
"I didn’t feel strong enough in myself to do it alone.”
Clifford joined his neighbours Sue Jackson and Lorna Morris in seeking support from Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale - a community stop smoking service commissioned by Calderdale Council.
The service, delivered by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and funded by Calderdale Council, provides a choice of group, telephone, or one-to-one support to quit smoking.
Clifford was persuaded to seek support from the service by friend Sue, who has made it her mission to convince as many friends and neighbours to quit smoking as possible.
She said: “Smoking was not doing my health any good at all.
"I used to get off the bus and walk along the street to get home, and I couldn’t breathe half-way. I even went to A&E once.
"Since I’ve stopped smoking, I can breathe a lot better.
“Since quitting, I’ve been much more active – going places I’ve never been before.
"I’ve lived in Halifax all my life but I’d never seen York or Bridlington.
"The group of us who’ve all stopped have been going out and doing all these things together. It’s been marvellous.”
Both Clifford and Sue have received motivation from Lorna, who decided to quit smoking at the age of 78.
Lorna has a lung condition, which causes restricted airflow and breathing problems.
"Since I’ve stopped smoking, I’ve had more money, I’ve been happier, I breathe better and I walk better,” she said.
“With the money I’ve saved, I’ve bought new curtains and had new flooring done. The group has helped me a lot. They’ve given me the confidence to feel good about myself. They never doubted me.”
Although vaping products are significantly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, they are not risk free. The health advice is clear that people who do not smoke, or who are not at risk of relapsing to smoking, should not vape.
For support to quit smoking, contact Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale on 01422 262373 or 0330 660 1166, or visit www.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk.