Mum backs stop smoking scheme

A SINGLE mother who gave up her 30-year smoking addiction after being inspired by her daughter is urging others to give up the habit.

Dawn Penman, who lives in Newbiggin with her eight-year-old daughter Megan Jane, had her first cigarette when she was seven before smoking more regularly from the age of 13.

Now the nurse – who quit smoking a year ago – is urging others to give up the habit, not only for the health benefits but also financial reasons.

Dawn, who smoked between 40 to 60 cigarettes a day, saw her father, who was a heavy smoker, die at the age of 49 after a series of health issues.

She said: “With everything that happened to my dad and having my family, in particular Megan, constantly on at me to quit I felt pressure to do something about it.

“Megan learned about the dangers of smoking at school and so was coming home nearly every day at one point telling me how bad it was for me and that she hated the smell of cigarettes.”

Previous attempts to give up smoking had failed before she signed up for NHS Stop Smoking drop-in sessions at Ashington Hirst Welfare Centre last year.

Dawn, 40, added: “I would definitely say to others to have a go at quitting.

“It’s not only improved my health but the money I’ve saved from not buying cigarettes now means me and my daughter get to go on more holidays and I can finally afford to redecorate my house.”

Figures show that someone who smoked 20-a-day could save more than £2,500 a year if they quit.

Alison Nichol, Northumberland stop smoking service manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s never too late to stop smoking, and I would urge anyone who is thinking of quitting to pop along to the drop-ins and see what help is available.”

For NHS stop smoking services in Northumberland call (01670) 813135.