A GRANDAD who has been a chain smoker most of his adult life has vowed never to touch a fag again after undergoing life-saving surgery.
Forty-a-day man Les Swain, of Kipling Place, Great Harwood, is on the road to a new life after having a quadruple heart by-pass only a fortnight ago.
In December 2007 the 55-year-old learned he had blockages throughout his four main coronary arteries and had no alternative but to have the surgery to save his life.
After coming out of the eight-hour operation, he said he owed it to his surgeon, four sons and two grandchildren to never smoke again.
Les, who is a full-time carer for his son Karl and disabled wife Rita, said: "One of my grandsons used to come up to me and tell me I was bad for smoking but he will not see me do it again.
"Before the operation I promised I would quit but I was still having one or two a day. I told the surgeon this because I couldn’t lie and he said he would not operate – but I begged him to change his mind and he did.
"My family are proud of me and are glad I have stopped smoking. I owe it to them to stay away from fags."
The operation was performed at Blackpool Victoria Hospital by surgeon Mohamad Bittar.
The surgery involved breaking Les’s rib cage, disconnecting his heart and replacing his coronary arteries with blood vessels taken from his leg.
He may face further surgery to repair an aneurysm in his aorta.
Earlier this year the Observer highlighted Les’s smoking addiction as part of National No Smoking Day and Les is continuing to encourage youngsters never to light up.
He said: "A lot of young people have attitude and think it won’t happen to them. I have lost three sisters to cancer due to smoking and my brother and parents all died of heart attacks. It’s a serious issue and young people need to think about their futures."
He also supports the call for putting picture warnings on cigarette packets to emphasise the anti-smoking message.
He added: "If you saw someone like me with all my scarring you would probably think twice before buying a packet."