Asian Leader_333

October 21, 2014  |  By  | 

Asian LEADER 22 October - 4 November 2014 02 Asian LEADER 22 October - 4 November 2014 03 A large number o local resi- dents are taking on Stop- tober this month to quit smoking. They may take inspira- tion rom Oldham’s frst citizen. By his own admission the Mayor o Oldham was a hardened smoker who had started at a young age – progressing to a 40 cigarettes a day habit. Councillor Fida Hussain con- essed to knowing the dangers and health risks it was causing – but he continued. That was until two years ago when his youngest daughter, aged 7 at the time, emotionally struck a chord by asking: “Do you care about us or do you care about the cigarettes?” “That really hit home there and then,” said the Mayor, who is promoting Stoptober – a nation- al campaign which encourages smokers to quit. “I realised very very quickly I am taking my kids’ rights away rom them and the money I could be spending on them was going in the wrong direction. “Rightully they should be the ones I spend my money on – rather than the £30 a week I was spending on cigarettes.” The Mayor, aged 53, conessed to smoking or 34 years and took up the cigs with an old group o riends who had already taken up the habit. He said: “It was very tempting at that age, as I had so-called riends who were oering cigarettes. It was completely the wrong thing to do, but I did – and by my early 20’s I was a chain-smoker. “I would urge young people who are oered cigarettes to not take notice because they are not your riends. I know this sometimes can be a hard thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. “Anyone who gives you sub- stances o any kind that can dam- age your health and put you in danger are not good people.” The ather-o-fve was constant- ly being pressurised rom his wie, Tanvir and his children to quit. His cigarettes would be thrown away without him knowing and he would ace constant calls or him to pack them in. Councillor Hussain, who is also a ward councillor or Werneth, admits he was rightened by his amily showing shocking images o what smoking can cause to the body – but it ailed to trigger his “willpower to quit”. That was until his youngest daughter’s heart-breaking ques- tion. So two Ramadan’s ago, he de- cided to stub out the cigs or good. He added: “The hardest thing to do is making that initial decision and setting a date to quit. “It’s all about having that will- power and it gets easier over time. It is not only improving my health, but it is also not putting my am- ily’s health at risk. “All smokers will have good rea- sons to quit and I realised that my wie and children were looking out or me. “I am now fnancially better o and I have a better quality o lie with my amily. “So i you are a smoker, consider taking up a challenge like Stopto- ber. There are some exceptional services in Oldham, like the Stop Smoking Service, who do a grand job helping residents quit or good. “I your amily and riends are telling you to stop – listen to them. “So seek out the support and im- prove your lie.” Anyone who wants to quit is urged to contact Oldham’s stop smoking team on 0161 621 7128 or fnd out more online by visiting: www.stoptober.smoke Mayor quit 40-a-day Mayor of Oldham’s story

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