Stoptober is approaching and Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are reminding the public about the benefits of quitting the habit for good.
This year's campaign, led at a national level by Public Health England, will kick off on Thursday, October 1 and the focus for this year is on ‘better health' as part of a 28 day challenge.
When a smoker quits, the body responds almost immediately. According to the NHS stop smoking website, after just 20 minutes of stopping smoking, a person's pulse rate will improve, and after 48 hours, all carbon monoxide is flushed out and the lungs start to clear.
The campaign is also highlighting the benefits that stopping smoking can have on people's overall health by improving the immune system, which in turn could help fight more bugs and viruses.
Mark Adams, Director of Public Health South Tees said: "The number of people who smoke in the Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland area continues to fall annually. Yet, smoking related harm across our communities remains a serious public health concern, accounting for the largest cause of early deaths and preventable illness.
"Stoptober presents a great opportunity for us to remind smokers of the harms and encourage more people to quit for good and we are happy to support this campaign."
Councillor Dorothy Davison, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Middlesbrough Council said: "This year has obviously been a particularly difficult year, and it's understandable that some people may have started smoking again after previously quitting.
"But there are real dangers that come with smoking such as different cancers, lung disease and a whole range of other health problems. There is also evidence to show that smoking can give people an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections, so it's more important than ever to take the first step, and give Stoptober a go."
Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Welfare at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Councillor Steve Kay added: "According to the NHS, if you can give smoking up for 28 days, then you're five times more likely to kick the habit for good.
"There is no better time than now to give it a go and enjoy the benefits that a smoke-free life can bring including the possible reduction of the detrimental effects of Covid-19."
To find out more and to access stop smoking support today, call the Stop Smoking South Tees Service on 01642 727579, text STOPTOBER to 07800006093, or visit the Stop Smoking South Tees website.
More advice can be found on the NHS website.