Dr Tony Naughton is the clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group. He is also a practising GP at The Thornton Practice.

As someone who smoked until the age of 25, I know just how hard it is to stop. Giving up smoking remains the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also one of the best things I have ever done.

As a doctor, I see people in their 40s and 50s – young people who should have many years ahead of them – with lung cancer.

Sadly, those in their 20s who are told about those people in their 40s and 50s can’t identify with the reality that one day that could be them.

Younger people live in the moment and cannot identify with the person that they will be in 20 or 30 years’ time.

Lung damage starts to happen as soon as you start smoking and that damage is irreversible.

Almost all  diseases are more common in people who smoke, it isn’t just lung cancer that affects smoker.

Smoking is also strongly linked to poverty and can cause health problems for close family members and children.

People who smoke also look older than they are as the chemicals in cigarettes damage the elastic tissue in your skin.

Thankfully the levels of smoking have gone down in this country in recent years and we know we are down to just 20 per cent of adults who smoke.

And thanks to initiatives such as Stoptober, more and more seem to be packing it in every year.

What I do know is that e-cigarettes are not the best answer. Brought in as a step down for those who want to stop smoking, they have become something of a vehicle for people to start.

We do not know if there are any future health problems associated with these devices. The tissue in the lungs is extremely sensitive and we may find that e-cigarettes cause damage that we currently do not know about.

The best thing to do is just to stop altogether. Stop putting harmful chemicals into your body and you will feel better, more confident and more in control than you ever have before.

And you’ll be richer, too.