An online drive is offering people the chance to sign up for online support with the Smoke Free app.
Dr Ruth Sharrock is a Respiratory Consultant with Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Lead for the North East and North Cumbria Smokefree NHS/Treating Tobacco Dependency Taskforce.
She urged anyone looking to quit to sign up to the app: “If you smoke the single most important thing you can do to improve your health is to stop smoking,” she said.
Beware of jellyfish - here's what to do if you are stung by one in South Tyneside
South Tyneside mum who lost son to suicide sets up support group to help others in his memory
More than 30 new covid cases in South Tyneside but no more virus-related deaths
11 destinations you can fly to from Newcastle Airport during half-term holidays
Lockdown sparks rise in noisy neighbour complaints
“If you’re quitting the best chance of success is through a local stop smoking service supporting you through and getting the right medication and quitting aids to beat the cravings.
"But the app can also provide 24/7 support and motivation to have at your side anytime you need it.
“It is never too late to quit smoking - even if you have smoked for years and have tried before. Your lungs and body start to recover from the moment you stop and you reduce the risk of serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, COPD and stroke.”
Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of North East anti-smoking organisation Fresh, agreed: “Quitting smoking is one of the biggest gifts you can give to your loved ones,” she said.
"Children worry immensely about parents and grandparents smoking - they want them to be around for the important moments in life."
There were more advantages to quitting that just the health benefts, she added: “Every cigarette is damaging your lungs and your health - but every pack smoked is also draining the bank balance.
“When you add the money up we are talking about thousands. Quitting can give your family finances a boost and pay for some brilliant family experiences in 2022.
"We also know that despite common myths that stress and anxiety reduce when you manage to quit smoking. It can be tough, but millions have now done it and we urge you never to give up on quitting.”
The free app can be downloaded with an eligible postcode within the North East and North Cumbria at getmesmokefree.com.