FORMER smokers have urged residents to stub their cigarettes out as part of Stoptober next month.

The national campaign will encourage people to quit the habit over the month of October and three people who recently stopped smoking have been speaking about the benefits they have enjoyed since.

Amanda Crowe of Wilderspool Causeway was told to quit by her doctor as the nicotine was drastically thinning her blood.

Her carer Steve Horne decided to kick the habit with her as statistics show that you are 36 per cent more likely to quit when a close friend stops, 34 per cent more likely to when a co-worker stops and 67 per cent more likely to when your spouse stops.

Amanda, who smoked 30 to 40 cigarettes a day for 37 years, says that the service provided by Livewire’s Stop Smoking team helped her combat her anxiety.

The 50-year-old said: “I’d smoke as many as I’d got and then my daughter would be finishing a cigarette and I’d smoke the end of that as well.

“I suffer with mental health problems which can sometimes mean I struggle to leave the house for weeks on end, however attending the sessions got me into a routine and gave me a real goal to work to which has helped with my anxiety.

“Sometimes I’d come and I’d beat myself up because I’d smoked and they were really supportive and say you’re doing really well – they were really good and really supportive.

“I think it’s quite hard to do it on your own but if you’ve got somewhere like here it’s a lot easier.

“You’ve got to budget to buy so many cigarettes every day so you notice a lot of difference with money as well.”

Steve, 45, had been a smoker since he was 14.

He said: “Giving up smoking has really changed my life, it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

“Amanda went to the doctor and he told her that she had to give up, so with Mandy giving up I thought I’d give up as well because it’d be easier for Mandy to stop.

“She’d stand there and have a cigarette and then ten minutes later she’d have another one.

“I notice a lot of differences – I don’t get out of breath walking up the stairs, I can smell things more now.

“We have saved a lot – I never went out and bought trainers and stuff like that because it went on cigarettes.

“I tried to quite loads of times on my own and I couldn’t do it.

“The support you get is absolutely amazing, it really is.”

Susan Pottage from Fearnhead managed to quit having smoked 20 to 30 cigarettes a day for 50 years.

The 64-year-old said: “I’ve smoked for 50 years on and off – I tried to give up many times and I once packed up for five years but that was probably about 20 years ago and I restarted.

“In a week I went from smoking 30 to none.

“I started doing it and I hadn’t told my daughter – I didn’t tell them until I wasn’t smoking at all and they were gobsmacked but very pleased.

“I was finding it difficult to afford to smoke because it is expensive.

“Save your money – you’re just burning all that money.

“Think of all the money you’re going to save – things you can buy, children you can treat, treat your grandchildren, go out on trips with your friends.

“The backing you get is phenomenal – you never feel on your own.

“If you feel like you’re not coping you can ring up and they’ll ring you and text you so it lets you know that they’re thinking of you which is always a good thing.

“The first time I went in they were absolutely lovely – the people are really nice and understanding.

“You’ve nothing to lose, if you do fall by the wayside you can always just jump back on the bandwagon – just give it a go.”

Figures show that 14 per cent of Warrington residents are smokers, and Stoptober will be backed by comedians Bill Bailey, Al Murray, Rhod Gilbert and Shappi Khorsandi.

Livewire’s Stop Smoking service will one-to-one support, drop-in sessions and daily emails and text messages from the comedians for those who are trying to quit.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin said: “Quitting is not easy, it takes a lot of will power but Stoptober is a great challenge and there are services to help and support residents to quit.

“Public Health England also says that if people can stop for 28 days they are five times more likely to stop for good so sign up today and change your life.”

For more information call Liverwire’s Stop Smoking service on 0300 030 810 or visit

To sign up for Stoptober go to