Smokefree South West to close this summer after cuts to funding

The organisation has run a series of hard-hitting advertising campaigns to get people to give up smoking Credit: ITV News

Smokefree South West is to close in June after cuts to public health funding.

The news comes just days before the organisation's campaign ad hits television screens across the region.

The Be There Tomorrow campaign aims to shock smokers and make them think about quitting for themselves and their families.

You can watch a Be There Tomorrow ad below:

Credit: Smokefree South West Ad

'Proud of our achievements'

Smokefree South West was commissioned by 11 Public Health teams across the region - their goal was to develop a programme to try to create a smoke free future.

They were re-comissioned as Public Health Action, which also worked on reducing alcohol-related harm.

The group says they have helped reduce the number of smokers in the region. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Via public campaigns and support services for people trying to quit smoking, the organisation works to accelerate the reduction in smoking rate across the South West and make tobacco use less desirable and accessible.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health has written to the Health Select Committee and to the local authorities that have provided funding to the group to urge them to reconsider their proposed funding cuts.

In the letters the APPG recommends that the councils meet with the Department of Health and other public health partners to discuss how funding might be secured in the future.

Consumer campaigners welcome closure

Campaigners from the consumer group Forest say they welcome the forthcoming closure.

In a statement, Simon Clark, the director of Forest, said:

"Taxpayers already pay for NHS smoking cessation services and national anti-smoking campaigns."

"When budgets are so tight, and other services are being cut, it's difficult to justify the use of public money to support yet another tobacco control group."