DUDLEY Council's finance chief is working on a cut which he hopes will put cash in charity coffers.

Cllr Pete Lowe is axing his smoking habit and handing over the cash he saves this month, expected to be around £100, to the Mayor of Dudley's fund for Diabetes UK and the Stroke Association.

Cllr Lowe stopped his 15-a-day addiction on October 1, to coincide with his 44th birthday and the start of the government’s anti-smoking Stoptober campaign.

He told the News he had not given in to temptation thanks to support from his family, conventional treatment and an unusual substitute for nicotine hits.

Cllr Lowe said: "I have the gum and the electric cigarette and I have developed a craving for grapefruit, I'm getting through one every day. I had to check i'm not pregnant.

"Overall its all going well, I hope doing it for charity and doing it very publicly will help me keep to it and not only get through the month but also quit smoking for good."

Local authorities are set to take over responsibility for public health under government reforms and Cllr Lowe is being supported in his campaign to quit by the Dudley Stop Smoking Service.

Cllr Zafar Islam, Dudley cabinet member for public health and well-being, said: “Our public health team has a stop smoking team which supports people to quit. We will be working closing with Councillor Lowe to help him through the month and we wish him all the best.”

For more information on going smokefree, including details of Dudley Public Health events in October, call Dudley Stop Smoking Service on 0800 0850 652 or visit www.dudleystopsmoking.co.uk

Cllr Lowe is posting a weekly video diary about his battle to beat smoking throughout October on Dudley Council's website.