‘Some days I was so short of breath that I felt like I was dying’ - Dereham woman gives up smoking after almost six decades

10:51 22 February 2013

Elizabeth Dawson from Dereham had her first cigarette aged 13

Elizabeth Dawson from Dereham had her first cigarette aged 13


A Dereham gran of 12 has broken a habit of a life-time by giving up smoking after 58-years - and unsurprisingly she says she feels better for it.

After being addicted since she was just 13, 72-year-old Elizabeth Dawson is urging other smokers to give up too, telling them that it’s the best thing they will ever do.

Mrs Dawson’s 20-a-day habit started causing problems with her health, and she began to be unable to do the simplest of tasks like climb the stairs or clean the house.

She said: “I’ve had problems with my chest for years.

“Some days I was so short of breath that I felt like I was dying.”

But after her doctor gave her the ultimation that unless she stopped smoking, she wouldn’t be given oxygen therapy, Mrs Dawson said she realised she needed to change.

So six months ago Mrs Dawson contacted Smokefree Norfolk, the stop smoking service, and she says she hasn’t had another cigarette since.

She said: “My grandchildren in particular were always trying to get me to stop.

“I think they could see just how bad my health was getting, whereas I would just shut it out of my head.

“Now I’ve quit, they are very pleased and really proud of me. I feel great, and no longer need the oxygen therapy which my doctor had originally recommended.”

And now Mrs Dawson and her husband Victor have a dog called Jack which they walk daily for added exercise.

The support she was given from Smokefree Nofolk is provided by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, where experts explained to her the different types of help available before she decided to use a combination of patches and mouth spray, as well as going to one-to-one support sessions.

Katie McGoldrick from Smokefree Norfolk, said: “We’ve worked hard to make sure our service is easy to access and offers lots of choice so that we can help people to find the solution which best suits them. “It often takes several attempts to stop but you’re not alone, we can help and the benefits will be huge.”

For advice about giving up smoking, contact the Smokefree Norfolk team on 0800 0854 113 or visit


  • Well done Mrs Dawson. You know it makes sense!

    Report this comment


    Friday, February 22, 2013

  • Well done to her! Just shows it's never too late and always beneficial to give up. I kicked the habit nearly 20 years ago after many failed attempts, one of the best things I ever did. My advice if you struggle to stick at it: don't give up giving up, eventually you will succeed.

    Report this comment

    Only Me

    Friday, February 22, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition


Newsletter Sign Up