to give a smoker the drug to help them kick their habit, or give them treatment for lung disease if they continue. If it is more cost effective, then I suppose it is a good idea." Anne French, 61, a retired barmaid from Whiteleas, South Shields, has been a smoker since she was 14.
She said: "I think it is a very good idea. I would certainly think about using it if it has been proven to work. "I did stop smoking once before a few years back only for a couple of months then I was back smoking. "If it is made prescription only, it is a good idea. Smokers are also paying tax, so I don't think that matters. Everybody is going to pay tax eventually."
Her 10-year-old grand-daughter Demi-Lee said: "I won't smoke."
Non-smoker Bill Iredale, 41, from Harton, South Shields, said: "If there is not going to be any bad side-effects and it will help wean people off smoking who want to kick it, then I think it is a good idea. "I am a taxpayer, so there is that little bit of negativity. There are both positives and negatives.
"It is positive because it will help people quit, but at the end of the day, it has to be funded. In the long term, it will save peoples' lives. Smoking is like drinking it's a choice. "The money could go towards helping people with cancer, but then again, smoking is the major cause." Non-smoking barmaid Amber Calbo Mesalles, 19, from Westoe, South Shields, said: "Both my parents are smokers.
"It seems to be a good idea if it works, so it is something I would consider putting forward to my parents. "If it is going to help people kick the habit, it is not going to be so bad on the taxpayer.
"It will be better for everybody, including passive smokers like me."
Smoker Gavin Stephenson, 28, from Hebburn, said: "On the NHS, it will be easier to get for people who really want to stop smoking. I stopped smoking before for a year and a half, but I started again. It is all about willpower.
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