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1 February 2016, 10:03
North East smokers, whose lives have been devastated by cancer, are urging others to quit.
They're backing a new campaign - Quit 16 - from Fresh Smoke Free North East, which warns smokers are putting themselves at risk of sixteen different types of the disease.
Smoking caused an estimated 3,077 new cases of cancer and 2,192 deaths from cancer in the North East in 2013.
Besides lung cancer, smoking also causes cancers of the mouth, nasal cavities, pharynx and larynx, stomach, kidney, bowel, liver, pancreas, cervix, bladder and ovaries, oesophagus and ureter, as well as myeloid leukaemia.
Research shows more than a third of smokers in our region could not name one cancer caused from smoking.
Northumberland mum Maggie Bratton was one who didn't know the severity of the risks.
She needed surgery and a plastic replacement for the roof of her mouth which she now cannot speak without.
The North East had the largest drop in smokers nationwide between 2013-14 and the biggest fall over the past decade, but Fresh warns more work still needs to be done.
Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said:
"Most of us know about lung cancer, but it's worrying how few people are aware that poisons in smoke attack so many different parts of the body, whether they smoke cigarettes or roll ups."
"We are urging anyone who smokes to think how their family would cope if it was them and make 2016 their year to make a new start. Quitting might not always be easy, but continuing to smoke is often much, much harder."
Smokers are being encouraged to find out about local support and free quitting tools to download at Quit16.co.uk.