Council supports new campaign that highlights the harm caused by cigarettes

Published: 02 Jan 2018

Hertfordshire County Council is supporting Public Health England’s (PHE) new hard-hitting TV campaign highlighting the dangers of tar in cigarettes and urging Hertfordshire’s estimated 122,470 current adult smokers to get help to quit this New Year.

The campaign shows how poisons from the tar and gas particles in cigarette smoke enter the bloodstream, and spread throughout the body within seconds, causing significant damage to major organs.

Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said: “Smoking is a deadly addiction. Each year it kills an estimated 1,453 people in Hertfordshire and for every death, there are an estimated six hospital admissions due to smoking; a total of 8,456 admissions in a year.

“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 few days.

“We know how difficult it is to stop, so we’re urging every smoker in Hertfordshire to take advantage of the free support available from our local Stop Smoking Service and quit for good this New Year.”

A group of seven lifelong smokers - including TV presenter and entrepreneur, Hilary Devey - declare their intention to quit in January after seeing the results of a lab demonstration that show how their smoking has led to elevated levels of cadmium (a metal used in batteries), cancer-causing nitrosamines and carbon monoxide in their blood. These toxic substances are amongst over 4,000 chemicals released into the body with each cigarette smoked, including more than 70 known cancer-causing compounds.

Hilary said: “I’ve smoked at least 20 a day for over forty years. Like many, I’ve been hooked on cigarettes and ignoring the damage – even though I know the harm I’m doing, I’ve found it extremely difficult to quit for good. Even a stroke three years ago only led me to stop temporarily.

“Seeing the high levels of poisonous chemicals in my blood from these tests really hit home how dangerous continuing to smoke is – and for that reason, I’m done!”

For help to quit, including advice about e-cigarettes, text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 389 3 998 or visit