THOUSANDS of Wearsiders tried to quit their cigarette addiction last month.
October was renamed Stoptober by health chiefs to try to encourage people to bin the habit.
The 28-day initiative from the Department of Health, which was supported by anti-smoking group Fresh, encouraged the North East’s 460,000 smokers to make a quit attempt.
Officials said that a total of 10,129 Stoptober packs were requested in the North East, as many of those lighting up seized the chance to reap the health benefits.
Ailsa Rutter, who is director of Fresh - Smoke Free North East, said: “The North East has seen the biggest fall in smoking in the last few years and we have had a fantastic response to Stoptober.
“Thousands of people who smoke have decided it’s time to stop once and for all.
“Stopping smoking not only brings immediate benefits to your pocket and the way you feel, but also stops every cigarette from doing you damage.
“Not everyone manages to quit first time. If you’ve tried but not succeeded, just give it another go.”
Health Minister Anna Soubry said that those who were in the midst of a quit attempt should continue.
She said: “Stoptober may have been a great success, but half of all smokers will die because of their habit.
“We know that most smokers want to give up, which is why we must keep encouraging them to make that step.
“I congratulate everyone in the North East who gave up for Stoptober. It’s a fantastic achievement.
“They are five times more likely to give up for good after 28 days and I hope they will.
“For those who didn’t manage to stop for Stoptober, I would urge them to keep at it.”
l Have you managed to quite smoking in Stoptober? We want to hear your quit stories.
Call David Allison on 501 7137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
l Fresh – Page 60