RELUCTANT RUNNER: James kicks the habit to get healthier

James Bowes keeps a log of his progress. Picture by Paul Atkinson.
James Bowes keeps a log of his progress. Picture by Paul Atkinson.

While I am using all my willpower to try to resist the temptation of cakes, bread and puddings, other people in Bridlington are winning their own battle.

James Bowes’ challenge is not to eat healthier, but to ditch the cigarettes, after 60 years as a smoker.

He said: “I will be 80 soon. I started smoking when I was 20 and I have been a smoker ever since. I wasn’t even a moderate smoker, maybe six or seven a day, but that adds up over 60 years.”

Like me, a trip to the Health Trainers in Quay Road inspired him to make the change.

“One or two people said ‘why don’t you try to give up?’ last year. We were passing the Health Trainers place by the post office and my wife Jan said we should go in.”

So he made his first appointment and prepared to give up. When James, a retired policeman, went for his first carbon monoxide reading, which shows the amount of the chemical in his breath, it was 26.

“In the first week, I had seven cigarettes and I went back to the Health Trainers the following week and my reading was 12,” said James.

Eventually, having kicked the habit altogether, he went back at the start of January and the reading was one.

James said the trainers told him some lifelong non-smokers will still have a higher reading than that.

“I feel fine,” he said. “I play golf regularly and for my age, I am in pretty good nick.

“I walk around Bridlington, shopping and along the promenade in summer time and I see so many on mobility scooters.

“There’s no way I’m ever going to get like that. I don’t want to be a burden on the system.”

There is another bonus to his success in giving up smoking.

“It wasn’t a financial decision, it was purely about my health,” he said.

“I was probably spending £70 a month, which was literally going up in smoke.

“Now, it will be put to better use. We will have a good holiday and it will be like a freebie.

“I’m so pleased my wife said to go in to the Health Trainers when we were passing.”