People in North Tyneside who smoke and who have recently quit the habit have been invited to give their views on NHS stop-smoking services in a bid to improve public access.
These people are currently being recruited by an independent research agency on behalf of NHS North of Tyne for a number of focus groups so their opinions can be used to change services for the better.
Head of Health Improvement at North Tyneside Primary Care Trust, Ian Atkinson, said the biggest contributor to premature death in the area was smoking.
He said: "The number one thing a smoker can do to improve their health is to stop smoking so we want to make it as easy as possible for those people who do want to quit to use their local free NHS service."
He added that finding out what people, who have actually used the services, think about them will allow the trust to make changes to meet their needs.
Anyone who takes part in the locally held focus groups will be given a high street gift voucher worth £20 in exchange for their time and effort.
"Why is Ian Atkinson advocating wasting £20 per smoker, why not give out a free questionaire to people who have used the service? How much money is being wasted employing an independent research agency? Millions upon millions of pounds are being wasted on antismoking campaigns, with no tangible evidence that smoking prevalance is being reduced" – Chip, UK