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Bazz Helps Patients and Visitors to Break the Habit of Smoking

Armen Hareyan's picture

Volunteers at the Royal Hallamshire hospital are helping patients, visitors and staff to quit smoking as part of the Trust's smoke-free status which came into effect on 1st January 2007.

A team of volunteers are wandering the hospital grounds and main entrances reminding smokers that they are no longer able to smoke in the area and handing out information cards containing details of the Sheffield Stop Smoking Service. The no-smoking rule applies to the Royal Hallamshire, Jessop Wing, Charles Clifford, Weston Park and Northern General hospitals and surrounding grounds.

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One of the volunteers involved in the campaign is 66 year old Bazz Booler from Firth Park. Bazz was a heavy smoker from the age of 18, partly due to the stress of working. He said, "I used cigarettes as an escape, especially as I had a stressful job working as a vehicle recovery technician, which is a 24 hour a day job. Also, at the time smoking was fashionable; it was part of the culture."

In 1991 Bazz suffered a major heart attack which left him needing intensive care and he admits that even when in the hospital he still craved a cigarette. "I asked the intensive care nurse if I could have a cigarette and she told me in no uncertain terms that if I carried on smoking it would kill me. From that moment on I realised that I had too much to live for and I have never touched another cigarette since."

After a successful heart bypass, giving up smoking and taking up regular exercise to lose weight Bazz says he has never felt better and is now taking the opportunity to help others to give up. He says, "They do say the only thing worse than a non-smoker is a reformed smoker and I guess in my case that may be true! I can no longer stand smoky atmospheres and if someone lights up next to me I have to walk away. However, I won't pretend it is easy to quit