A DIABETIC has vowed to give up smoking after being shown how poisons from tar enter his bloodstream and spread all over his body.

Colin Latimer-Parry was horrified when he saw the effects cigarettes can have.

The 53-year-old is now backing a national campaign by Public Health England highlighting the dangers.

Mr Latimer-Parry, a life- long smoker from Three Bridges, Crawley, was shown the results of a test investigating contaminants in his blood.

They showed how smoking has led to elevated levels of cadmium, a metal used in batteries, cancer-causing chemical compounds and carbon monoxide in the blood.

These toxic substances are among more than 4,000 chemicals released into the body with each cigarette smoked, including more than 70 known cancer-causing compounds.

Elevated levels of these substances can lead to an increased risk of major damage to the body.

Exposure to cadmium for a long period of time is associated with an increased risk of damage to the kidneys and bones and may lead to lung cancer.

Research has shown that if you regularly smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, you are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer compared with a non-smoker.

Mr Latimer-Parry said: “It was a real shocker to find out how many poisons are in my blood because of smoking – just learning about three of them was frightening enough, let alone all 4,000.

“I’ve recently seen someone close to me diagnosed with throat cancer due to smoking, which has really hit home and motivated me to finally quit.

“I’ve been a smoker for 40 years, so if I can do it, anyone can.”

More than 22,000 people in Sussex and Surrey are admitted to hospital every year with a smoking related illness.

A wide range of support is available for people aiming to kick the habit.

This includes face-to-face help, stop-smoking aids, a quitting app, email, social media and text messaging.

More details can be found at nhs.uk/smokefree.

Jason Mahoney of Public Health England said: “Smoking is an absolutely deadly habit.

“We are urging every smoker in the south east to take advantage of the free support available and quit for good this New Year.”

Health and Wellbeing lead for PHE South East, says:

“Smoking is a deadly habit. Each year it kills 36,532 people in the South East [6] and 64,684 people are admitted to hospital with a smoking related illness - which works out to be more than seven an hour.

“In Sussex and Surrey, the mortality figures are 12,599; and the number of people admitted to hospital with smoking-related illnesses 22,523 - which works out to one person every 24 minutes.

“Our new TV ad shows how every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the bloodstream in seconds. We are urging every smoker in the South East to take advantage of the free Smokefree support and quit for good this New Year.”