Two thirds of smokers living in Hartlepool failed to quit smoking with the help of local services.

Just one third of smokers in the County Durham town successfully kicked the habit using the local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

From April 2017 to March this year, 1,228 people in the Hartlepool area signed up to the NHS service and set a quit date.

NHS England says that four weeks later, 454 people, or 37 percent, had successfully quit.

That figure is far below the national average of 51 percent, and the 47 percent average for the North East.

The results of the study were based on self-reported data of participants saying they had not had a cigarette two weeks post-quitting, however this data was not backed up with medical records.

But 19 percent of quitters proved they had made the lifestyle change by having a test that checks carbon monoxide levels in their bloodstream.

Figures published by Public Health England estimate the smoking rate in Hartlepool to be 19 percent of the local population.

It’s not clear whether e-cigarettes were used by participants, however it’s not likely as participants are said to have used chemical-free methods.

Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at PHE said:

“If you are a smoker, quit now and consider using an e-cigarette as an aid. Using an e-cigarette along with support from your local stop smoking service gives you the best chance of quitting successfully.”