On December 28, Public Health England’s (PHE) hard-hitting Smokefree ‘Health Harms’ campaign will launch to trigger quit attempts among smokers by making them aware of the immediate, personal and irrefutable harm to health from every single cigarette.
Around 2.5 million adults are using e-cigarettes in England and they have helped thousands of people successfully quit – but many smokers (44%) still either wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking (22%) or don’t know that vaping poses much lower risks to health (22%).
The campaign sees the release of a new film showing the devastating harms from smoking and how these can be avoided by switching to an e-cigarette or using another type of quit aid.
The film features smoking expert Dr Lion Shahab and Dr Rosemary Leonard using an experiment to show the high levels of cancer-causing chemicals and tar inhaled by an average smoker over a month, demonstrating how this compares to not smoking or using an e-cigarette.
Of the 6.1 million smokers in England, six in 10 want to quit but many try to quit using willpower alone – or ‘cold turkey’ – despite this being the least effective method.
Smokers are encouraged to visit the NHS ‘Smokefree’ website for quitting support and to get a free ‘Personal Quit Plan’ which helps smokers find the right support for them to quit in just three easy steps, taking into account how much they smoke, and any quitting support used previously.