The Northumberland Stop Smoking Service has warned that there are still many older smokers in the region putting their lives at risk, years after the smoking ban was introduced.
The warning comes as the Government released a hard-hitting advert which shows a tumour growing out of a cigarette.
The North East has seen the fastest rate of people quitting, but the service says more people need to follow suit.
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The commendations were awarded in recognition of an outstanding response to a serious house fire in Bishop Auckland in May.