They have smoked for 273 years but this group is proving it’s never too late to give up.
The six-strong team have not touched a cigarette for six weeks and have worked out that they have already saved themselves a remarkable £1,742.
As well as the financial benefits, the group, whose ages range from 54 to 67, say that the physical effects of giving up are also having an impact.
Five of the group are living in the Woods House in Sackville Road, Hove, a sheltered housing scheme run by Brighton and Hove City Council.
Roy Crowhurst, 67, has been smoking for 50 years, and Mal Parker, also 67, for 51 years.
Steven Nye, 61, has been smoking for 48 years, Susan Nye, 55, has been addicted for 40 years and Len Kensett, 61, for 47 years.
The sixth member is scheme manager Michael Logue, 54, who has been smoking for 37 years and was the first to consider giving up.
He said: “It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you have been smoking, with the correct level of support you can successfully quit.”
Mr Crowhurst said: “It has been difficult but it does help when you are in a group. Nobody wants to back down and we are all determined to see if through.
“My breathing has already improved and I can walk up a hill now. I also don’t feel as tired.
“I was smoking around 40 a day and I must have saved between £240 and £250 already.”
Mike Dixon, from the NHS Smoking Cessation Team, has been running the group’s weekly sessions.
He said: “When a 20-a-day smoker quits they can save up to £7 a day – that’s approximately £50 a week or £200 a month. It soon adds up.
“Stopping is the single most important change any smoker can do to improve their health at any age, and the great bonus is how much money can be saved.”
Research shows smokers are up to four times more likely to quit successfully with the support of the free NHS stop smoking service.
The Sussex Community NHS Trust runs groups like Woods House all over the city and has a team of advisers who can provide information, access to medication and one-to-one support. For more details call 01273 267397.