THIS time last year taxi driver Stephen Picton was smoking 40 a day – but now he hasn’t touched a cigarette for six months.
Stephen, 40, who is known for his fantastic charity work in Hartlepool, campaigns on a daily basis for cancer charity Support Your Bowel.
He says it was the fact that he supports the cancer charity which led to him packing in the cigarettes.
“I thought to myself, I can’t dedicate my life to supporting a cancer charity but smoke myself,” said the dad-of-four.
“I went to a smoking clinic in October last year, and I haven’t had a cigarette since.”
Stephen topped the scales at 26-and-a-half stone before he quit last year.
As well as making cigarettes a thing of the past, he also started exercising a lot more and now goes for a long walk or bike ride every day.
“I feel 100 per cent better in myself,” said Stephen, who lives in the Blakelock Road area of Hartlepool with wife Sandy.
“People are saying to me I look better as well, which is great.”
The kind-hearted cabbie, who raised more than £50,000 for charity before his 40th birthday, is now urging other smokers to give it up and focus on their health.
He added: “If a man who is 26 stone can get to the top of Roseberry Topping and back down, then anybody can do it.
“There is nothing stopping people from improving their health.
“Giving up smoking is one of the best things I have ever done.”