Residents of the North-East are stubbing out more cigarettes than ever, as official figures have revealed that 189,000 have quit smoking.
The decline, largely due to the unrelenting success of the e-cig, means the number of North-East smokers is the lowest on record, with just 18% of the region smoking, compared with 29% a decade ago.
And it’s relatively unsurprising given the unstoppable and remarkable ascent of e-cigs.
Statistics show that e-cigs are helping thousands of smokers quit across the UK and scientists have failed to find e-cig toxins, indicating that e-cigs are the most successful and effective method of smoking cessation.
Valerie Scaife is a lifelong smoker and told The Northern Echo that she hasn’t smoked in two months thanks to her e-cig.
“My husband, Alan, said he would quit with me so we both got an ‘e-cig’ and signed up to our local smoking service. I was one of those people who said they would never use an e-cig but after being poorly everything changes.”
Valerie, 68 and a grandmother of four, lavished praise on her e-cig.
“I don’t miss smoking at all because I use my e-cig as I would a cigarette. Some of my friends have also decided to get an e-cig and quit after seeing how well Alan and I have done. They think if we can do it then so can they.”
Similarly, Yorkshire cigarette sales have fallen by 15% as smokers make the switch to e-cigs and other methods of smoking cessation.
Andy Scott, a councillor in the Darlington Borough Council for health and partnerships, explained that the benefits of stopping smoking are “almost immediate”.
“We know that those who stop smoking for 28 days are much more likely to stay smoke-free for good and those who quit with encouragement and support from family and friends dramatically improve their chances.”
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