With the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) going smokefree in March, Eddie and Patrick Hutton found the perfect opportunity to quit smoking after 40 and 35 years respectively. They work in the ISS security team at the QEH and used the support of the Stop Smoking Advisors in the hospital.
Leading the initiative was Patrick, the younger brother, who gave up using patches, chewing gum and e-cigarettes two and a half years ago. His prompt came after the lifts broke down at QEH and he had to push a trolley 12 times up the long ramp. “I couldn’t breathe”, he said, and so on New Year’s Eve 2014 he decided to quit. Working in a hospital has its advantages and he saw one of the stop smoking advisors at QEH who helped him through and he was smoke free in three months.
“Since I have stopped smoking I have got my taste buds back but now I really don’t like my wife’s cooking! Everyone says that food tastes different but it really is true. I did eat a lot more when I stopped smoking and put on weight but as I have such an active job I have lost it again. My skin is better as well so I am really pleased I did it.”
Patrick smoked between 20-30 cigarettes a day and although he didn’t religiously put his cigarette money away he and his family enjoyed a holiday on the back of his success.
Eddie timed his plan to stop with the Trust going smoke free and on 9 March 2016 he had his last cigarette. He also used the stop smoking services at the hospital and has managed his cravings using one of the cigarette-shaped inhalators so any time he feels the need for a nicotine hit he uses that.
“I saw the hospital going smoke free as a real incentive” he says “but I also wanted to do it for my grandchildren who are four and six and don’t like smoking and knew that grandad could do it! If ever I feel like a cigarette I look at a picture of them and it reminds me why I gave up.
Eddie continued, “I support West Ham so really I need all the cigarettes I can get! Normally I would smoke around 10-12 a day but when me and Patrick and my mates get together it would be a lot more – probably around 20. It can be hard when you’ve had a few pints but now that pubs are smoke free does make it easier. The blokes do heckle me about wanting a ciggie but you just have to resist and many of them have said ‘well done’ since I have stopped smoking which is nice.”
Eddie and Patrick’s top tips on quitting: