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Quit smoking this summer for your pocket and your looks

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SMOKERS in the North East can give themselves a pay rise of between £1,700 and £2,400 a year to spend on nicer things – just by quitting.


Prices using a supermarket comparison website show how the cost of smoking stacks up day by day and week by week, even for people buying lower cost brands in bulk.


The message from Fresh is that quitting doesn't just improve health but it gives the finances a boost for holidays, days out and bills, and can also give your appearance a boost.


Local stop smoking services can also boost the odds of success with all services in the North East welcoming people using electronic cigarettes to stop.


The staggering cost of smoking adds up, even if you buy low cost brands in bulk:

  • Someone smoking 14 a day can expect to pay around £2,418 per year, £201 a month and £46.50 a week. For a couple that means £4,836 a year, £403 a month and £93 a week.

  • Someone smoking 10 a day can expect to pay around £1,693 a year, £141 a month and £32.50 a week. For a couple that means £3,386 a year, £282 a month and £65 a week.


And think about what you could buy with the money...


  • Someone smoking 14 a day could treat the whole family (2 adults, 2 under 12's) to a cinema trip with a week's saving of £46.50 – and still have some change left over! [Source: Odeon Cinema]. Or it could pay pay for a family day trip to Alton Towers plus petrol money there and back from the North East, with a month's saving of £201. [Source: Alton Towers]


  • With smoking more likely to cause facial wrinkles from a younger age, you could treat yourself to some pampering with either a facial, massage or body treatment at Clarins Spa with a two week's saving of £93! [Source: Clarins]

  • In six weeks, the £279 saving could also buy you a family meal at your children's favourite restaurant every week of the summer holidays.


  • Stopping smoking for a year could lead to you saving around £2,400 – more than enough for a season ticket for a family of five people at Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool or Sunderland.

  • £2,418 saved in a year could pay for the whole family to enjoy a trip to Disneyland Paris for four nights and five days, including hotel, park entry and flights. [Source: Thomas Cook MagicBreaks]


Switching to a less harmful form of nicotine delivery like an e-cigarette can also bring big savings compared to cigarettes. The extra money can be put towards a holiday, a new outfit, family days out or helping with the bills.


Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "Smoking is a massive drain on the finances of many families across the North East. Day by day, and week by week, it is frightening to think how these costs mount up.


"We're encouraging people to think about the better things they can be buying – whether that is taking the kids out on day trips, a holiday, a new outfit, or a splurge on some new clothes."


As well as causing cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and stroke, evidence shows that smoking is affects people's appearance, undermining anyone's fitness and beauty regime.


The facts

  • Smoking makes it harder to get fit, even if you are young, and restricts muscle growth.

  • Smoking makes your skin more likely to wrinkle at a younger age. Tobacco smoke dries the skin and deprives it of nutrients.

  • Smoking can make hair more brittle.

  • Smoking can make people more prone to acne and delay the healing of blemishes.


Top 10 tips for quitting smoking this summer


1. Everyone is different – some successful quit attempts are planned, but loads of people manage to quit without planning


2. Work out when you're most likely to smoke and change your routine to avoid those situations for a while.


3. Make a list of reasons in your head – e.g. health, family, money.


4. Think about quitting smoking as a pay rise.


5. Get the best support – there's loads of help, advice and support available from your local Stop Smoking Service.


6. Ask your family and friends to support you – and not to try to tempt you to smoke.


7. Consider an electronic cigarette to help stay free of tobacco. E-cigs are the most popular quitting aid in the UK and are estimated to be around 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.


8. Try some of the free tools to keep you going from the national Smokefree website –


9. It is usually better to stop abruptly than cut down to quit.


10. Don't feel disheartened if you fail – come back more determined