Dave Woodger has successfully quit smoking in his 80th year, and the ‘singing paperboy’ of Palm Bay is hoping that his story will inspire others to do the same.
Dave started smoking his pipe at the age of just 17, while serving in the Royal Navy. But after a third bout of pneumonia at the age of 79 he realised that his health was really starting to suffer. “I was hospitalised with pneumonia and I ended up with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder – COPD,” explains Dave, “The GP was checking my lung function every year – one day when the appointment letter came through there was a leaflet in it about the NHS Stop Smoking Service. I had tried to quit before but with no luck. I saw that the service was free and I thought ‘OK, let’s give it a go.”
Dave was referred to Cathy at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, just a short journey from his home in Thanet. “I admit I was nervous at first, I had been a smoker for over 60 years. But Cathy was so friendly, kind and relaxed. She put me at ease and her support and advice really worked. “
Now smokefree for eight weeks, Dave is feeling healthier and happier. His daily routine includes an early morning paper round which he says keeps him fit and active –his neighbours have dubbed him ‘The Singing Paperboy’. “The best thing about going smokefree is that my wife is happier,” smiles Dave. “ I now get a goodnight kiss every evening as well as a good morning kiss every day. I should have done it years ago.”