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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
More north smokers choose to quit
Man smoking
The north has among the highest number of smokers in the UK
More than 10,000 people in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland gave up smoking with the help of NHS services in the past 12 months.

Figures show 10,688 people were helped to quit - an increase of 20% on the previous year.

Stop smoking services, run by primary care trusts, include providing free advice, support and nicotine replacement therapy.

But smoking rates in the region are still among the highest in the country.

Dr Eugene Milne from the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority said: "There is now a significant body of evidence that shows smoking significantly increases chances of suffering from cancer, stroke and heart disease.

"Local NHS stop smoking services play a vital role in helping people to quit and advisors are working extremely hard to encourage more people to stub it out for good."

Smokers who want to quit can contact 0800 1690169 or visit the Give Up website.

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