THE health risks caused by smoking are impossible to ignore.
High blood pressure, heart attacks, lung disease, emphysema - need we go on?
But kicking the habit can be extremely difficult without the right help and support.
It's a well-researched fact that many smokers try up to six or seven times to quit before they succeed.
Sometimes they need a little help.
That's where the North Wales Smoking Cessation Service comes in.
Set up a year ago, the service has been extremely successful in helping many people to give up smoking for good. It employs six smoking cessation specialists - one for each of the health areas in North Wales, ie Ynys Min, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
Julie Rogers is the specialist for the Wrexham area and has been encouraged to hear lots of positive feedback from her clients - one of whom is an 84-year-old lady, which just goes to prove it's never too late in the day to stop. "I see clients on a one-to-one or group basis every week for six to eight weeks, " explained Julie.
"When they first come, I have a chat with them to find out why they want to stop, " she added. "Some people want to stop for money reasons, for health reasons, or because a relative or friend has had cancer. I have to make sure they're ready and really determined to stop.
The time has to be right. If they don't feel ready, it's no problem, I encourage them to come back when they are ready.
"I offer advice on how to stop, discuss different products which can help combat nicotine addiction and tell them what to expect as they wean themselves off the nicotine."
There are lots of products on the market which can help you stop smoking, for example nicotine replacement therapy which comes in the form of patches, gum, tablets, lozenges or inhalators.
The drug Zyban can be prescribed by doctors to aid quitting, but it's also helpful to be able to talk through the whole process with someone who knows what you're going through. …