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Quitting smoking could be an ‘instant pay raise’ amid cost of living crisis, urges North East public health group UK News

A leading health organization in the North East has urged smokers to quit – and reminded them it could ‘feel like an instant pay rise’.

Amid a cost of living crisis and rising inflation, regional tobacco control organization Fresh has highlighted how quitting cigarettes will improve both your finances and your health. Fresh has previously highlighted the link between smoking and poverty – more than four in ten households with smokers in our region live in poverty – and now bosses are hoping that saving life could be the motivation smokers need to permanently stop.

According to the organization’s analysis, a smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes a day will spend up to £1,642 a year. The organization wants people to use the idea of ​​what else that money could be spent on – it works out to £31 a week – to motivate them to quit. Fresh is also keen to highlight how quitting smoking will benefit your health and reduce stress and anxiety in the long run.

Read more: North East experts demand ‘long overdue’ new government alcohol action plan

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “Smoking is a massive drain on the finances of many families in the North East. Day after day and week after week, it’s frightening to think of these rising costs. Stop smoking. Smoking might seem like an instant pay raise and create some financial peace of mind, but also means you can enjoy a few luxuries for yourself and the family.

“We know most smokers want to quit, but it can be difficult. A big motivation to try again is related to costs and what you can save by quitting – whether that’s for weekly errands or taking the kids on field trips. , new clothes, gifts for the kids, or even paying for the necessities of life like electricity and food, quitting smoking means you’ll save that money and ease some of your worries.”

Ms Rutter – who has previously made calls for the government to raise the legal age at which you can buy cigarettes to 21 – added that it was important to recognize that it was not as easy as simply deciding to ‘stop smoking. She said: “A lot of people struggle financially, but we have to remember that smoking is an addiction that usually starts in childhood and most smokers wish they could quit.

“Meanwhile, tobacco companies are profiting from addiction. It’s time for big tobacco companies to pay a tax for prevention and to help people quit.”

As part of the support available to help people in our area quit smoking, if you live in the North East and North Cumbria you can sign up for free support from Smoke Free app – which can be downloaded from

Fresh also published a series of top ten tips to help people quit smoking, including: Remember that sometimes people are able to quit without planning; that changing your routine can reduce the temptation to smoke and that making a list of reasons to quit can boost motivation.

The organization also recommends asking friends and family for help, being aware of help available from local smoking cessation services, and considering e-cigarettes.

Have you saved money by quitting smoking? Let us know in the comments below