That was the message on No Smoking Day 2020 as health experts encouraged more smokers to quit to help meet the region's target of 5% smoking prevalence by 2030.
Smoking still remains the single biggest cause of early deaths in Middlesbrough with one in two life-long users dying up to 10 years early.
The benefits of quitting smoking include improved breathing, improved mood and more money saved.
Members of the South Tees Public Health team joined regional and national organisations including Public Health England and ASH to support No Smoking Day which took place on Wednesday, March 11.
Experienced specialist nurses were on hand at the Live Well Centre in the Dundas Shopping Centre to give out advice to potential quitters about the many benefits of quitting smoking.
South Tees Specialist Stop Smoking Service Manager Rachel McIlvenna said: "Our Stop smoking Service across Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland offer ongoing support and will continue to do everything we can to help smokers to quit and encourage people, especially the young, not to take up smoking in first place.
"This year's No Smoking Day is embracing the positive message of real benefits of quitting smoking."
Councillor Dorothy Davison, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care & Public Health, said: "While it is enormously encouraging that smoking rates in Middlesbrough and the North East continue to fall, we cannot be complacent.
"For us to get to 5% smoking prevalence by 2030 we must continue to encourage smokers to quit.
"No Smoking Day is an important yearly opportunity for those looking to make this life-changing decision, as well as those who have already ditched the habit."
For support or advice contact the Stop Smoking Service on 01642 727579 or visit www.stopsmokingsouthtees.co.uk
L-R Joyce Cartwright, Nurse Advisor, South Tees SSS, Rachel McIlvenna, Service Manager, South Tees SSS, Emma McInnes, Health Improvement Practitioner, Public Health South Tees
and Elaine Salvati, Nurse Advisor, South Tees SSSmarking No Smoking Day 2020 outside the Live Well Centre in Middlesbrough's Dundas Shopping Centre