Fresh is urging people to quit smoking this Christmas to save money and protect their health

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The North East’s regional programme for tobacco control is urging people to stop smoking this Christmas to save their health and save money.

Fresh’s festive message is that ‘quitting smoking for the sake of your family is the best gift you could give them for Christmas and it’s completely free’.

Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England. In the North East – more than 113,000 people have died from smoking since the year 2000.

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Christmas is an expensive time when most people are counting the cost, so giving up smoking can help ease some of those financial stresses.

Alisa Rutter, director of Fresh.Alisa Rutter, director of Fresh.
Alisa Rutter, director of Fresh.

It could help offset household bills for fuel, food or heating. If you smoke 10 a day, you could be spending nearly £40 a week and around £1,600 a year.

No matter how long someone has been smoking, the body begins to repair itself within moments of quitting, reducing the risk of serious, life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “Quitting smoking is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your loved ones – by improving your health and improving the chances of being around for many more Christmases in the future.

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“There are so many benefits to quitting smoking. Within weeks you feel fitter and can breathe easier, and as the weeks and months go by you reduce the risks of a life-changing illness.”

For help to quit ask in a pharmacy, with your GP or visit for details of your local stop smoking service and other ways to quit.