The cancer toll from cigarettes

DOZENS of new cases of cancer are being reported among Hartlepool’s smokers each year, a study has shown.

Health experts urged more people to quit after statistics showed 98 new smoking-related cancer cases were reported in the town in 2009 and another 83 in 2010.

Research by Cancer Research UK, as well as studies led by Richard Peto at the University of Oxford, found 28 per cent of deaths from cancer in the UK are caused by smoking.

Figures show 14,813 people in the North-East were diagnosed with new cases of cancer in 2009, with 2,874 cases due to smoking.

Of those, 505 people in Hartlepool were diagnosed with new cases of cancer in 2009, with 98 new cases due to smoking.

The North-East had 2,122 deaths in the region from smoking related cancer in 2010, with 83 deaths in Hartlepool from smoking related cancer.

Professor Sir John Burn, the lead clinician for NHS North East and genetics lead for the National Institute of Health Research, said: “Most damage is fixed by the body’s own clever repair systems, but if cells continue to be damaged by chemicals every day, DNA damage accumulates.”

Quitting smoking, he said, would stop any new damage from happening.

Ailsa Rutter, director of the anti-smoking group Fresh, said: “Too many cherished mums, dads and grandparents die before their time every year as a result of smoking related cancers, leaving loved ones behind.

“We need to recognise that smoking is an addiction promoted by an industry with no regard for people’s health, only its profits.”

Anyone wanting to quit smoking can contact:

Stockton and Hartlepool NHS Stop Smoking Service on (01642) 383819.

NHS Smokefree on 0800 0224332, text Smokefree to 80800 or visit

Details are also available from your local pharmacy or GP surgery.