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Smoking campaign to warn teenagers

PUBLISHED: 19:20 07 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

The family of a 49-year-old woman who died of lung cancer, having started smoking as a teenager, have set up a charity to prevent other young women from taking up the habit.

The family of a 49-year-old woman who died of lung cancer, having started smoking as a teenager, have set up a charity to prevent other young women from taking up the habit.

Deborah Hutton died in July last year from an aggressive form of lung cancer.

The mother-of-four, a highly respected health writer at Vogue magazine in London for 20 years, started smoking when she was 16 but gave up when she was 25.

But despite stopping, the damage had already been done and in November 2004 at the age of 49, she was diagnosed with Non Small Cell Adenocarcinoma, a fast-moving aggressive form of cancer that killed her in a matter of months.

Yet despite the disease, she managed to find the time and energy to become a campaigner and even wrote a 'manual' for cancer sufferers called: What Can I Do to Help? 75 Practical Ideas For Family And Friends From Cancer's Front Line.

Deborah grew up in Loddon and went to school in the village, where her mum still lives.

Now her husband Charlie Stebbings and the couple's two daughters, Romilly, 16, and Clemmie, 12, have launched the Deborah Hutton Campaign.

The aim of the campaign, soon to be made a registered charity, is to target young girls in a bid to persuade then never to take up smoking.

Mr Stebbings, a TV commercials director and photographer, said: “It seemed that she had had a fascination in her own predicament and as she had been a health writer it seemed obvious we should use her name, which had been really high profile, to do something.”

He said that in the last 36 hours before she died his wife dictated a request to him to ask people to carry out some kindness in her name.

“The campaign will target young girls at an age when they are vulnerable to the pressures that currently make them start smoking,” he said.

The Deborah Hutton Campaign will be launched by the Loddon and Chedgrave District Society at a special garden party at the home of Deborah's mother, Rhodanthe Selous.

Deborah's book will also be on sale at the garden party and £3 from each sale will go to the Macmillan Cancer Relief Fund.

Tickets for the event, which is at Langley Grange, Loddon on Sunday, July 2, from noon to 4pm, cost £8 and include cheese and wine and use of the outdoor and indoor swimming pools.

Tickets are available from Rhodanthe Selous, by sending a stamped address envelope to Langley Grange, Loddon, NR14 6BL. Cheques should be made payable to the Deborah Hutton Campaign. Donations and tombola prizes are welcome.


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