A leading Newcastle scientist says smoking is responsible for 15 different types of cancer. The warning comes on World Cancer Day.
Prof John Burn, professor of clinical genetics at Newcastle University, said: "There are a lot of chemicals in tobacco smoke which essentially attach to and damage the DNA in our body's stem cells.
"Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and it is crucial to stop for good."
New figures released by the Fresh, the anti-smoking campaign group, show that 14,813 people were diagnosed with cancer in the North East in 2009. The following year, the North East had an estimated 2,100 deaths from smoking-related cancer.
More top news
Vera Robinson MBE has died at the age of 101. She had been a fundraiser for the Redcar RNLI lifeboat station since she was 16 years old.
Provisional statistics for July show it was a cool and wet month for many of us.
With just 49 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup, the Webb Ellis Cup is touring our region.