Fun-loving TV extra Regina Brady ditched her 30-year smoking habit after hearing a wheezing noise coming from her chest that was so odd she thought her TV was on the blink!
The 44-year-old from Middleton, mum to two grown-up children and two young grandchildren, made the decision to quit once and for all after the experience.
She said: “I was sat watching TV one night last year and I could hear this weird whistling noise, I thought the TV was on the blink. So I turned off the sound and then I realised that the noise was coming from my chest!
“It was a wake up call really, you start thinking about things when you get older. I just thought if I carry on like this I’m going to be dead.”
Regina, who’d tried to quit unsuccessfully once before in the past, made up her mind that this time she was going to beat cigarettes once and for all. Through her GP she signed up to Rochdale’s stop smoking service, Living Well.
With the support of her stop smoking advisor, Regina used the smoking cessation drug Champix to help her quit, and she’s been smoke free since last summer.
“There have been loads of opportunities where I could have started again but I’ve resisted. I used to smoke to deal with stress but I’ve realised that as soon as I’ve stubbed out that cigarette the stress will still be there.
“It was so worth trying to give up for a second time and I’m really proud I cracked it. I absolutely mean it this time, I will never put a cigarette near my mouth again.”
Regina, who comes from an Irish family, is using some of the cash she’s saved to fund a trip to New York for St Patrick’s Day. She is also feeling more energetic and less prone to chest infections.
“I love spending time with the grandchildren, and now I’ve got the energy to play more and get out and about with my five year old grandson. The thought of not being able to do things with him if I’d carried on smoking is awful.”
She added: “I’m really pleased to be backing the Don’t Be The 1 campaign; the two in one statistics are frightening. I just wouldn’t want that hanging over me.”