Ex-smokers are being sought to help others trying to quit the habit.
Fresh, the region’s tobacco control programme, is appealing to people who have been affected by smoking to share their real life experiences to help warn others as part of a new campaign later this year.
They are hoping to hear from former smokers who have been affected by ill-health or have quit for their health or loved ones, or family members whose loved ones have suffered from a smoking-related illness.
For more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 333 7144.
Alternatively visit @FreshSmokeFree on Facebook.
Ailsa Rutter OBE, director of Fresh, said: “Every year in our region thousands more people will lose family members, or receive the devastating diagnosis of a smoking-related illness.
“The sad truth is that smoking kills one in two long-term smokers and many thousands are living with smoking-related diseases, including cancer, COPD and heart conditions.
“By telling the real stories of the people who have been affected by smoking, or suffered ill-health as a result of smoking, we hope to reach more people and encourage them to quit. We also want to hear positive stories of those who have quit for their health and their loved ones.
“It is a brave step to share your experiences with others, but we know that it can have a powerful impact in encouraging others to quit. If you want to make a difference and are interested in backing the campaign, we would love to hear from you.”
The campaign will launch this autumn and will include films showing real stories, which will run as TV adverts and feature in other media.