Patrick Gower opens up about mum's lung cancer death in latest documentary on vaping

  • 01/08/2023

Patrick Gower has emotionally revealed he wished vaping was around when his mother was alive during a candid moment in his latest documentary. 

The broadcaster made the comments in his latest documentary Paddy Gower on Vaping which aired on Three on Tuesday night. 

In the documentary, Gower spoke with Sharron, who managed to stop her 30-cigarette-a-day habit by taking up vaping. 

Sharron said she was extremely addicted to nicotine for 40-odd years and it got so bad she cared more about smoking than living. 

"I was hugely addicted. For about the first 30 years, I loved it and never even considered quitting. But in the last sort of few years, I felt it was, I was getting to a stage where I wanted to quit," she told Gower. "I tried the gum, I tried patches, I tried willpower. That lasted about five minutes."

Sharron said the only thing that helped her quit was switching to vaping. Now she hasn't touched a cigarette since May 20, 2019, although she admits she's still heavily reliant on nicotine.

"They say it's in your body, but it's in your head too. It's like this little monster in your head going 'feed me, feed me, feed me, feed me'. I mean, obviously, my vape still has nicotine, so clearly I'm still addicted to nicotine."

The turning point came one day when Sharron was smoking and it hit her that she was slowly killing herself. 

"I was outside one night smoking and I said to myself in my head, 'You are killing yourself. This is killing you'. But I couldn't stop and I knew I would die of smoking."

The admission struck a chord with Gower who revealed his mother had died from lung cancer in her 50s. 

"My mum used to smoke like you did - a pack a day. She actually died from lung cancer," Gower said. "Vaping wasn't around but when I was listening to you talk then I could just see… [my mum]. She died in her fifties… way too young. So I'm glad you're vaping," Gower said. 

"I'm glad I'm vaping too. Actually, I'm really proud of myself for that," Sharron replied. "Because I never could have imagined going half an hour without a cigarette, let alone four years."

The research is just beginning, so we can’t say vaping is definitely safer than smoking. For now, the expert advice is that we know it's differently harmful.

For Sharron, the risks are worth it.   

"It wasn't over easily, but from that date [when I started vaping], I never touched another cigarette," she said. 

"That's awesome. I honestly wish my mum could have done that," Gower revealed. 

"I wish your mum could have done that too," Sharron replied.  

Watch the full documentary Paddy Gower on Vaping on ThreeNow