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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Mum hopes to inspire other smokers to quit

A MUM who gave up smoking after realising the effect her addiction was having on her two young daughters is encouraging others to kick the habit.

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INSPIRATION: Mum Rachael Fisher, 25, who has quit smoking after she caught her daughter Sarah-May Miles, two, imitating her by pretending to smoke with a pen LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50039071B000

Rachael Fisher, who smoked for 14 years before giving up last summer, realised enough was enough when her two-year-old daughter, Sarah-May, started copying her by pretending to smoke with a pen.

The 25-year-old Hindpool mum said: “She was forever rooting through my handbag for cigarettes, wanting to know what they were because she’d seen me sneaking outside with them but knew I wouldn’t let her touch them.

“It was the same with lighters – she was always trying to get hold of them.”

Miss Fisher also realised her 20-a-day habit was hurting her daughter Sophie, six, who became very upset after doing a smoking course at school.

She said: “She just kept saying ‘Are you going to die?’.

“It was the same with my niece. She started junior school and was forever on about it.

“There’s no way to justify to a child why it’s OK for grown-ups to smoke but not children.”

Miss Fisher had tried to quit twice before, using the replacement chewing gum and lozenges, but found they did not work for her.

This time, she decided to call the Stop Smoking Service provided by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

With the help of the scheme, which offers ongoing help, support and advice, Miss Fisher finally managed to give up.

She has shared her story in a bid to get people taking part in Stoptober – a mass quit attempt launched by the Department of Health.

Having given up on August 13, two days after her last birthday as a smoker, Miss Fisher is already feeling the benefits.

A keen runner, she is now doing an 11-minute mile rather than a 13-minute one.

She saves up to £20 per night out as she used to smoke around 40 cigarettes while socialising.

But the best effect she has noticed is on her children.

Miss Fisher said: “Sarah doesn’t wait for me by the baby gate for me to come back into the house because I’ve been outside smoking.

“That whole thing of sneaking out for a cigarette – I don’t have to do it any more.”

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