I had been a smoker since 1995. It began with a couple of cigarettes here and there, but quickly spiralled and before I knew it, I was stuck with a habit that didn't leave my side. At my worst, I'd smoke up to 30 roll ups a day, a habit that definitely increased whenever I was socialising. I'm ashamed to say it, but when I was out and about, going for drinks, I pretty much used to chain smoke.
But the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) doesn't endorse vaping and GPs have been told to tell patients "there is currently little evidence on the long-term benefits or harms of these products".
Stoptober is upon us and thousands of people around the UK are trying to quit cigarettes and alcohol for an entire month. First of all, well done to all taking part! Giving up something you love is not easy but you will feel better for it!
It's so important we work with young people, families and communities to help spread the message through initiatives like Stoptober and the Tobacco Free Greater Manchester Strategy. Smoking can destroy families, which is why we're driving forward towards the first ever smoke-free generation - and I hope Greater Manchester continues to lead the way in making this vision a reality.
As we've just come to the end of Stoptober with many of us choosing to give up alcohol for 31 days, I want to ask you all whether you feel any better for being dry? I have now been teetotal for 22 months with no intention of hitting the bottle again, so maybe now is a good time to share 10 things about being teetotal.
I can clearly remember the first cigarette I ever smoked: a Silk Cut, purchased as a pack of ten between a gaggle of my closest school friends and I in the summer of '91; lit with a pink-tipped match, hands shaking with a heady mixture of adrenaline, anticipation - and a dash of fear.
So, if you're thinking of stopping smoking - there's no better time to try! Why don't you sign up to the annual Stoptober campaign, which last 28 days from October 1st, and is based on research which suggests that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to be able to quit for good
The amount of people who smoke in England is now the lowest on record, new figures from Public Health England (PHE) suggest
Are e-cigarettes safe? Will they help me to quit smoking? Will they harm my kids or encourage them to smoke? These are important questions. And because e-cigarettes have become popular so fast, from being virtually unheard of to 2.6million British users in under ten years, we need to answer them.