British Heart Foundation – Smoking and heart disease

British Heart Foundation – Smoking and heart disease


I’m Lisa Palmer, I’m 39, and I live
in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. I started smoking
when I was about 13. I thought it was trendy
and I looked good. I wanted to feel
like I was part of the crowd, but I really wish I hadn’t. My parents both used to smoke. My mum, the menthol fags
and my dad, cigars, and I used to moan like hell
when going on a car journey, because I used
to hate the smell of it. But they gave up about 20 years ago,
really due to health, and they got
quite high blood pressure. My mum and dad thought that might
put me off but, no, it didn’t. Nothing stopped me. My average day, I suppose,
was first thing, soon as I’d get up, I’d go straight for a packet of fags, and then I’d be out the front
and having a fag. I’d get the kettle on,
bit of toast and another fag. My day was practically controlled by, I suppose,
cigarettes and timings. I knew when I could have a fag, and I’d have as many as possible. I was… Well, I was like Dot Cotton. I had at least 20 a day,
if not more, and weekends, 30 to 40. When I got to 26, 27, I don’t know, I just felt like my whole body
was clogging up. In the morning, I was, like,
barking like a dog, coughing. I sounded awful. I went to the doctor’s. He told me,
“You’ve got to stop smoking. “That’s the be all and end all.
You can’t do anything else,” which at a young age – I was only in my 20s, late-20s –
wasn’t good. It sort of brought it real
that if I don’t stop this, who knows what’s going to happen? It could be a heart attack. I might not even be around
to see my son, so it had to be done. – We’re drawing a life pattern.
– Do you have to colour it in? – Yeah.
– Oh, good. I was smoking 20 to 30 cigarettes
at least a day, so it was a big thing to do. I was scared. Would I do it? I had to be quite determined. I had Bradley,
and it really made me think, “I don’t want to be a mum “who’s not able to play with her son
or play football.” I’d be running up the end of
the garden, and I’d be out of breath. My main thing was
just changing my routine. Instead of getting up,
having a cup of tea and a cigarette, I’d go and clean my teeth, or go and do the washing-up
or something, and just keeping busy. When I first stopped smoking, I did put on a bit of weight,
I think. I’d have a little bit of chocolate
or a few sweets, instead of a cigarette, but I wasn’t going
to beat myself up about it. If you go on a diet and stop smoking,
it’s just too much pressure. Back then when I was smoking,
to be honest, I ate rubbish. I was eating pizza, chips. I don’t know why I did. So from going
from the Burger Queen I was always eating junk food – to now just fresh fruit, vegetables. You know you need your five a day. Lots of vegetables and fruit.
It makes you feel better. I joined a local gym.
It’s quite good. It’s quite social. I’ve met new friends,
and you don’t have to go mad. I’m only there
for half an hour, an hour. Right arm straight,
and back to your shoulder… Ten years ago,
I couldn’t run on the treadmill. I’d be out of breath,
and wanting a cigarette. But now I can run a few miles, and my heart isn’t pounding. I feel healthy and great,
so it’s a good thing. After a year of giving up,
my skin colour changed. it was quite pink. I’ve got blusher on,
but it was a really good tone, and my hair – I used to spend hundreds of pounds
on good products for my hair, but I didn’t need that –
it was the smoking. My hair is really soft, shiny.
It looks so much better. My nails, I don’t smell, so actually I look and feel
a lot better now. From stopping smoking,
I have so much more money, and I can actually go shopping. So me and my friends like
going shopping or going for coffee. I haven’t read it yet… I just treat myself now, you know. You have to give yourself
a little treat. It wasn’t an easy thing to do,
so why not treat yourself? A little handbag now and again
doesn’t hurt. Bradley’s nine,
so we do quite a lot now. We go out for bike rides,
go to the park, play football. Literally, my whole life has changed. I’m outside running around with Brad. It’s really nice
that I can run around with him, and not be out of breath,
and have to worry. I know I’m going to be here,
and I want to see his wedding. I want to walk down the aisle.
I want to go on his stag do with him! He probably won’t let me! I’ve got a lot more going on
in my life. I’m keeping really busy,
but actually I love my life now. You know, there’s a future,
and I’m going to live it, believe me. I was a dead man walking. The time has come
for me to take action. I was 17st 2lb, and now I’m 12 stone, and I feel absolutely brilliant. Now I actually feel excited
for the future. You’re told that you have a disease that’s going to be with you
for the rest of your life. It was an absolute shock. I love my life now. There’s a future,
and I’m going to live it.

4 Replies to “British Heart Foundation – Smoking and heart disease”

  1. A disgusting, dangerous, diabolical scourge …but alongside alcohol. Weapons of war and pharmaceuticals, money generating products…..So a few million INNOCENT people die…JUST MAKE SURE THAT THE CASH KEEPS ROLLING IN.

  2. My Mum smokes, but Dad doesn't. She has had some problems as a result, or at least I think she has. According to Grandma, she most likely started around the age of 16.

    She's made many unsuccessfully attempts to stop smoking. But that's the thing. If you start smoking in your teens, it's a lot harder to stop than if you start later in life.

    I know a lot of smokers. But I don't smoke myself. And I don't plan to start.

  3. hey ,if anyone else is searching for how to give up smoking try Megarno Amazing Smoker Magician(Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now ) ? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my mate got excellent success with it.

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