A MOTHER-OF-FOUR quit smoking after taking part in an experiment to see what it is like living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Joanne Nevin, 40, from Newcastle, has smoked since she was 11 and was spending £250 a month on the habit.

She was one of four smokers nationwide to take part in the experiment. They were joined by former Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas, whose mother has COPD.

They wore a resistance training mask and carried out everyday tasks to experience how it might feel to have a serious lung disease.

More than one million people are living with COPD, an umbrella term for serious and progressive lung diseases and about 25,000 deaths each year are attributable to it.

Mrs Nevin said her main reason to give up smoking was because her son had just come out of hospital due to a bad asthma attack.

Her mother, also a smoker, previously suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 46.

She said: “Now that I’ve experienced what living with COPD is like, I wouldn’t wish the disease upon anyone. I am quitting smoking this January and I would urge anyone else who’s a smoker to quit with me.”

To view a video of Mrs Nevin's involvement in the experiment click on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQuARMhr9lo

For a full range of help and support to quit visit http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree