Worthing mum backs new national anti-smoking campaign

Henri Pretty and her sons, six-year-old Billy, and Teddy, three.
Henri Pretty and her sons, six-year-old Billy, and Teddy, three.

A WOMAN whose mother died from cancer after a lifetime of being a secret smoker is spearheading a charity’s latest campaign.

Henrietta Pretty, known as Henri, is backing Cancer Research UK’s The Answer is Plain campaign, which aims to discourage young people from taking up smoking by getting people to sign a petition to get all branding removed from tobacco packaging.

Henri’s mother Rosemary, 71, died from lung cancer in April last year, and the mother-of-two said she feels passionately about preventing young people from becoming addicted to smoking.

She said: “My mother smoked in secret. She was heavily addicted but ashamed – ashamed of something she had become hooked on in her teenage years.”

After developing pneumonia, a recurring cough and a series of colds over a couple of years, Rosemary was diagnosed with lung cancer which spread to her liver and her brain.

Henri, 35, who is mum to six-year-old Billy, and Teddy, three, said: “My mum was a capable, talented woman – clever, sensible and in control of her life. Smoking was her only weakness. She was totally and utterly powerless to it. Smoking ruled her with an iron hold.

“She died within 10 weeks of diagnosis, a year ago last week. It definitely was a silent killer in her case.”

To find out more about The Answer is Plain campaign, visit www.theanswerisplain.org

For more on this story, see this week’s Worthing Herald, out now.