A Paisley Buddie is backing ASH Scotland’s ‘Quit and Win’ campaign on national No Smoking Day (Wednesday 8th March 2023) after celebrating eight months of being tobacco-free.
Ferguslie resident, Wilson Muir, is supporting the campaign which is highlighting that giving up smoking brings benefits to health, wellbeing and personal finances.
Wilson, 62, began smoking as a teenager. He said: “I started using cigarettes when I was 15. Most friends of my age and most of my family smoked so you were the odd one out if you didn’t. It was just the done thing back in the 1970s.”
Over the years, Wilson increased his use of tobacco to the point that he was smoking around 40 cigarettes a day, if he could afford to buy them. After using tobacco for 45 years, the tragic smoking-related illness and death of Mattie, his wife of over 30 years, was a major turning point for Wilson.
“Mattie smoked and unfortunately developed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Sadly, I lost her to the disease as she passed away following a heart attack. I was devastated and shattered – it gave me a real wake-up call about the impact smoking has on our health.”
During his work for Shopmobility Paisley and District, the service which aims to tackle social exclusion caused by mobility problems, Wilson became aware of the range of support that is available to assist people aiming to quit smoking.
In summer 2022, the organisation based in the Paisley Centre’s car park on Storie Street signed Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, which gave their employees and volunteers access to health charity ASH Scotland’s free expert advice, training and resources to increase their knowledge of smoking and tobacco issues.
“After seeing ASH Scotland’s information in Shopmobility’s office, I contacted the NHS’s local Quit Your Way service for support to give up smoking and I haven’t looked back. I use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of skin patches and they are working fine for me, as I no longer feel the need to smoke cigarettes. I’m very happy to now be tobacco-free for eight months!”
Wilson has noticed some real differences in his everyday life. He said: “Thankfully, the bad cough I had developed when smoking is disappearing as my lungs have started to heal. This is much to the relief of my partner, Karen and I, as the cough was regularly interrupting our sleep. Karen is also thankful that I no longer smell of smoke – she always detested the stink around our home and the car!”
Following his own achievement, Wilson is backing ASH Scotland’s drive to encourage other Buddies to make an attempt to stop smoking too.
Wilson said: “I am pleased to be supporting ASH Scotland’s ‘Quit and Win’ campaign and urge anyone who is thinking about giving up smoking to find ways that work best for them. I’m not saying it will be easy to quit smoking, but there are a lot of different quitting options available and it’ll definitely be worth the effort to give it a go.”
The ‘Quit and Win’ campaign is highlighting that quitting smoking brings health benefits such as decreasing the risks of coronary heart disease and lung cancer, after one year and 10 years respectively, by about 50% compared to people who continue to smoke tobacco.
Anyone who has the goal of giving up smoking is advised to contact the NHS’s Quit Your Way service by calling the free helpline on 0800 848484 or create a quit plan at www.QuitYourWay.Scot