Today is No Smoking Day and health experts are encouraging people to quit by highlighting the cost of cigarettes.
The anti-smoking charity FRESH says the average smoker would save £2500 a year by giving up.
Derek Athey from Darlington quit smoking last year and has since put the hundreds of pounds he saved on cigarettes toward helping him pass his HGV licence.
You can watch the full report from Jonny Blair below.
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A number of projects across the region have received a grant totalling over £1.5m.
Higher food and petrol prices are expected to send inflation to its highest level in 28 months when official figures are released later.
Police say two men were arrested in a pre-planned operation in connection with the incident