Bob Cunningham and his family has had their first smokefree Christmas in more than 20 years after he gave up the habit.
He said that he is now fitter, can taste sugar and salt better, and has hundreds more pounds to spend on his family.
He is one of more than 5,000 people who have benefited from NHS Northumbria Healthcare's Stop Smoking services.
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The children on board were from Easingwold School and were travelling along roads affected by heavy rain and flooding after Christmas.
The walls had been closed to the public at the weekend amid fears of a collapse.