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You are never too old to quit smoking, say King's Lynn couple

PUBLISHED: 14:18 26 March 2011

Trish and Eddie Coe from King's Lynn, have both given up smoking with support from the NHS Health Trainer Service.  Picture: Matthew Usher

Trish and Eddie Coe from King's Lynn, have both given up smoking with support from the NHS Health Trainer Service. Picture: Matthew Usher

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When Trish Coe decided to give up her 20 year smoking habit, she not only helped to improve her health but also inspired her husband to quit.

The 56-year-old was using a pouch and a half of tobacco every week and said she had tried to give up several times previously without much success.

But in September last year she decided to quit for good and with the help of NHS Norfolk health trainer Lucille Omurcan the King’s Lynn resident thinks she has cracked it.

She said: “This time I think I was successful because I had Lucille to support me. She spoke to me about smoking and kept me motivated as I knew I would be seeing her every fortnight.

“She gave me books on how to change my habits related to smoking and I did all the tasks in them.

“Now when I meet people who smoke I can smell it on their clothes, and I think I used to smell like that.

“I would advise anyone who wants to give up smoking to contact the health trainer service and find someone like Lucille to give you support. It’s easier than doing it on your own.”

After eight weeks without smoking, her husband Eddie, 67, decided he would also pack in his 200 cigarettes a week habit. Mr Coe had been smoking since he was 13 and his habit was costing him about £10 a day. But he was given nicotine patches and an inhalator – a small handheld device that replicates a cigarette – to help.

He said: “I said to Lucille that I needed something to do with my hands.

“She recommended the inhalator. She was brilliant and I don’t think I could have done it without her.

“My breathing is a lot better and I don’t get as blocked up as I used to, and I don’t get so many coughs.

“My mates are amazed that I’ve given up smoking and I tell them to give it a go too.” The 67-year-old has saved money through giving up smoking, and has plans for his extra funds.

“I’ll spend it on the house and the garden,” he continued. “But the main thing is that I feel a lot better through stopping smoking.”

The couple’s health trainer Lucille added: “Eddie and Trish are amazing. I helped them break habits that were associated with their smoking – for example, the areas of the house where they smoked.

“They show that you can smoke for years and still succeed in quitting. I’m very proud of what they have achieved together. They have done brilliantly.”

Ms Omurcan is one of a team of Health Trainers who have been recruited from communities in King’s Lynn, Norwich and Thetford.

They work one-to-one with clients, supporting them to make the lifestyle changes they want. Some people want to quit smoking, some want to lose weight, and others may want to change their exercise and diet to give themselves a new lease of life.

Vicky Mitchell, King’s Lynn health trainers co-ordinator, said their service is not a quick fix but it helps people achieve sustainable improvements in their lifestyles.

“This is a great example of how health trainers can help people achieve their health goals and maintain those changes. Congratulations to Eddie and Trish,” she said.

“Contacting our service could be the difference in helping you achieve your goal.”

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