Baby helps dad quit cigarettes

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A NEW dad was persuaded to quit smoking by his baby son even though the youngster is too young to talk.

Having heard about the dangers of second-hand smoke to children, Jonah Morris said he knew it was time to stop smoking after he became a father for the first time.

Now the 33-year-old, of Whitley Bay, is encouraging others to follow his example and quit cigarettes during Stoptober, a 28-day initiative by the Department of Health calling on smokers to kick the habit this month.

Jonah quit with the help of Newcastle and North Tyneside’s NHS stop-smoking service.

He said: “I started smoking when I was a teenager and was smoking around ten to 15 cigarettes a day before I quit. I always knew that smoking was bad for your health, but it wasn’t until I found out that I was going to be a dad for the first time, that I found a real motivation to quit.

“I was referred to the stop-smoking service following an antenatal appointment with my wife Katherine.

“When the nurse explained to me the dangers of passive smoking to babies, it really shocked me, and I knew from that moment that I had to make a clean break from smoking for the sake of my baby’s health.

“A week after I’d visited the service and set a quit date, my baby son Oliver was born, and he gave me all the motivation I needed to stay smoke-free.

“Now that I’m smoke-free, I feel so much healthier.

“Above all, I feel psychologically better having stopped and that I’m a better role model now for my son.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to quit smoking to take part in Stoptober. Quitting smoking is a lot easier than you think.”

For details, visit www.smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober or call 0800 022 4332.