By Eve Conlon and Lloyd Ingles
A Washington dad has given up smoking with the aid of e-cigarettes after getting inspiration from his six-year-old daughter.
Alicia, six, gave her dad, Stuart Dale, 35, the guilty conscience he needed to quit smoking.
Mr Dale, from Washington, has already saved a small fortune after getting rid of the habit two months ago, which he plans to spend on his child.
He said: “Now she’s growing up, she started to ask questions and noticed how much I smoked. I started to feel really guilty and wanted to start putting all the money I spent on cigarettes to good use.”
The ex-soldier has also been able to swap his daily packet of cigarettes for a Play Station 4, after saving more than £400 in just six weeks by giving up smoking.
Since e-cigarettes were first introduced in the UK in 2007, sales have continued to increase every year, reaching £90 million in 2013.
They are expected to rise to a further £339 million by 2015.
However Mr Dale is not the only person from Sunderland to have benefited from the use of e-cigarettes.
Johnny Viney, 19, a Sunderland University student, said: “I love how quickly I gave up smoking thanks to e-cigarettes. It’s saved me years of a filthy habit.”
E-cigarette New Stats and Research claims that the success of e-cigarettes is down to the quality of their product and the access to minors, with 25 per cent of smokers who want to give up, turning to e-cigarettes as a method of quitting smoking.
Like Mr Dale, one of the electronic cigarettes’ main appeal to smokers is the value for money, with the average price of a 20-cigarette pack, costing from £5-£8, compared to a starter kit of e-cigarettes for just £20 that equates to 100 cigarettes.
As a smoker of 17 years, Mr Dale added: “Forget tabs. I’m taking Alicia to Disney Land next.
“I wish e-cigarettes had been invented sooner. I could have saved a lot more money and my health from years of harmful chemicals.”