A Hull dad has told how he switched to vaping when he saw his young son copying him by pretending to smoke.

It comes as the dad-of-two, Mike Sugden, features in a 30-minute film commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, which has been launched to explore the facts about vaping as a way to reduce smoking and the number of smoking-related deaths across Yorkshire.

Mr Sugden, 37, did not want his children following in his footsteps, or those of his father and grandfather who died of smoking-related diseases.

When Mr Sugden was a teenager he had shown promise as a rugby player but his “addiction” to cigarettes hindered his health and he had to give up his dreams of turning professional.

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He moved on and started a family, vowing to give his children the best possible chance in life as he worked his way towards being a manager for Royal Mail.

Mr Sugden said: “When I saw my son copying me, it hit home then. I didn’t want him to go through what I went through. I wanted him to have a better start in life.

“I tried so many times to give up and failed, but this time I knew I had to do it. Someone suggested vaping. I looked into it and I decided it was my way out.”

That was 11 years ago.

Last year his son, Aidan, now 16, signed for Hull FC, the team that Mike has supported since he was a child.

Mr Sugden said: “The first time he walked onto the pitch in his Hull FC shirt and tie, it brought a tear to my eye.

“I started playing rugby when I was 10 or 11, it was roughly when I started smoking. When we used to go out for a long jog, I couldn’t physically do it, because I couldn’t breathe.

“I will always regret it, but I’m very proud of Aidan.”

Mike and his wife Stacey have another budding rugby player in the family too, 11-year-old Archie, who plays for Skirlaugh RLFC.

Mike believes vaping will mean he lives longer and will be there for his family.

“I just feel better in myself since I gave up smoking,” he said. “I’m not coughing. I’m not breathless. I feel alive. My dad was a smoker, my grandad was a smoker. My granddad died of emphysema, my dad died of cancer. “

Watch: The trailer for Vaping Demystified

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The 30-minute film, Vaping Demystified, was launched on March 10 to mark National No Smoking Day. The documentary film features interviews with leading health professionals and presents research-based evidence to help audiences understand “the difference between myths and facts when it comes to vaping nicotine products”.

Yorkshire Cancer Research commissioned the film as part of the “charity’s commitment to reducing the number of people in the region who smoke and go on to get cancer as a direct consequence”, by providing “clear and accurate information about vaping”.

Contributors to the film, including GPs, lung health specialists and representatives from Public Health England, to outline “vaping’s value as a tool to quit smoking”.

Speaking in the film, Bradford GP Dr Amir Khan, said: “As doctors, we learn about the dangers of smoking right from the offset. It can affect almost every body system in a detrimental way. We know that cigarettes contain about 6,000 different dangerous chemicals.

“My view on vaping is that it is definitely better than cigarettes, I think for me as a GP vaping is a good halfway point between smoking and stopping smoking. If vaping helps you to stop smoking in the long term that is a good thing.”

All details, further information about vaping and free access to the film is available here.

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