BETWEEN them they have smoked almost a million cigarettes.
But after clocking up 122 years of smoking, John Hilton and Marjorie Fox have finally decided to quit.
John started smoking when he was just 14 years old.
He would get through around 20 cigarettes a day and did not think about the damage it was doing to his health.
Now aged 79, he has decided to pack in the habit after six-and-a-half decades.
He said: ‘In those days you used to have machines in the streets selling them.
‘Back then 6p would have got you five cigarettes.
‘I was in the merchant service and in there they were almost free – you could have as many as you like.
‘There wasn’t much said about health issues and smoking.
‘It was just one of those things that was done by almost everyone.
‘Over the years as the messages started coming out I just shrugged them off.’
But then John, of The Crossway, Havant, decided he wanted to give up and enlisted help from stop smoking support group Quit4Life, which meets at The Hub, in Park Parade, Leigh Park, every Thursday.
‘As you get more fossilised, you begin to take it more seriously,’ added John.
‘After my first session I cut back straight away.
‘Since I’ve quit I’ve already noticed I don’t suffer from shortness of breath when I’m in the garden and going for walks.
‘I’d tell anyone who is thinking of quitting, to do it – no matter what your age, it’s never too late.’
Fellow group member Marjorie, 76, of Littleton Grove, Leigh Park, had been smoking 20 cigarettes a day for the past 57 years.
She decided to quit on the advice of her doctor as she suffers with leg problems.
She said: ‘Since I have stopped I have been using my inhaler less frequently – I’ve cut down from using it four times a day to two.’
To find out more about giving up visit quit4life.nhs.uk or call 0845 6024663.