Peterborough woman urges smokers to kick the habit in 2018

Amanda Briggs-Temple
Amanda Briggs-Temple

A Peterborough woman who was given a horror health scare has urged smokers to give up cigarettes in 2018.

Amanda Briggs-Temple smoked 20-a-day for 31 years before she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in September. The condition causes breathing problems, and the 45-year-old office manager for Balfour Beatty has now quit the habit after fearing she would not make her wedding day.

Amanda, who is engaged to her childhood friend Colin White, aged 49, plans to get married in 2020.

She said: “I know that smoking is bad for me but it still came as a shock when I was diagnosed with COPD, which is an irreversible condition. Words cannot describe how low I felt knowing that I might not make it down the aisle and become Mrs White if I carried on smoking. After doing my research I learned that I can manage my condition if I stop smoking for good. So that was really positive.”

In October, this year, Amanda took part in Stoptober which is Public Health England’s campaign, challenging smokers to give up cigarettes for 28 days during the month of October. With the help of the Stoptober app and nicotine patches, which she is no longer using, Amanda has been smokefree for 13 weeks.

She said: “It makes me quite speechless to learn how many people in the East of England are admitted to hospital because of smoking related illnesses. It doesn’t surprise me that the younger generation is smoking less because we didn’t have the health information that is available today.”

She added: “To anyone who is thinking about giving up smoking but are too afraid to break a lifelong habit, my advice is go for it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I feel better for it. Going smoke free is so much easier than it used to be because the support is out there and the Stoptober app is brilliant because it provides advice and is very engaging so you never feel alone. I never thought I would be smokefree because I never thought I had the willpower, but I do.”

Public Health England (PHE) has today released a new TV advert highlighting the dangers of tar in cigarettes, as England’s 7 million smokers are urged to make a quit attempt with help from Smokefree this New Year.

Neil Wood, PHE East of England Health and Wellbeing Manager said: “Smoking is a deadly habit. Each year it kills 26,508 in the East of England and 59,063 people are admitted to hospital with smoking related illnesses – which works out to be more than six an hour.

“Our new TV advert shows how every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the bloodstream in seconds. We are urging every smoker in the East of England to take advantage of the free Smokefree support and quit for good this New Year.”

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree