1. ITV Report

Hard-hitting campaign urges smokers to quit in the New Year

The campaign is aimed at emphasising the dangers posed by tar. Credit: PA

More than six people in the East of England are admitted to hospital every hour with a smoke-related illness.

Public Health England has launched a new hard-hitting campaign which highlights the dangers of tar in cigarettes and how toxic chemicals from cigarettes spread rapidly through the body.

They're urging the country's seven million smokers to try to quit smoking in the New Year.

Smoking is a deadly habit.

Each year it kills 26,508 in the East of England and 59,063 people are admitted to hospital with smoking related illnesses – which works out to be more than six an hour.

Our new TV advert shows how every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the blood stream in seconds

We are urging every smoker in the East of England to take advantage of the free Smoke-free support and quit for good this New Year.

– Neil Wood, PHE East of England Health and Wellbeing Manager
Number of people killed by smoking in the East of England every year

The campaign video features a man lighting up a cigarette outside a building, with the blood vessels in his arms, face and hands quickly turning black as chemicals from the cigarette tar enter his body.

Research has shown that if you regularly smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, you are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer compared with a non-smoker.

Dr Dawn Harper, GP and medical journalist said: “I see the damaging effects of smoking in my surgery almost every day. Tar from cigarettes causes damage to major organs, the bones and increases your risk of a range of cancers and diseases.

"But, the good news is that no matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting can reduce your chances of developing cancer, heart and lung disease and other serious smoking-related illnesses. Some of the benefits are almost immediate, with improved energy and breathing within a matter of days.

The hard-hitting new advert urges smokers to quit Credit: PA

There are a number of ways to quit smoking that can be found on the NHS Smokefree website.

Here are a few:

  • Visit your local stop smoking service
  • Call the free Smokefree National Helpline on0300 123 1044
  • Improve your chances of quitting successfully with stop smoking medicines
  • Using an e-cigarette can help you manage your nicotine cravings
  • Hypnotherapy is a popular treatment for smokers trying to quit
Smoking is a deadly habit Credit: PA

Want a distraction from smoking? Here are the NHS' top five ways to take your mind off smoking:

  • Talk to someone - call a friend or relative to get some support.
  • Go for a brisk walk - this will help clear your head and lungs
  • Stay busy - download the Smokefree app or play a game on your mobile phone
  • Drink a glass of water or juice - keep yourself occupied for those crucial few minutes
  • Change the scene - just moving to another room can help, or step outside and get some fresh air
PHE said there are many ways to quit, including free proven support from NHS Smokefree Credit: PA