Public Health England has launched a campaign to highlight the damaging effect smoking has on the heart, and is urging smokers to quit smoking in the new year.
The Smokefree campaign reveals that 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking, which is over 16,500 a year in England. CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart attacks and strokes, and is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country.
CVD is usually associated with the build up of fatty deposits clogging up our arteries, known as atherosclerosis, that can block the flow of blood to vital organs and eventually cause fatal heart
attacks and strokes. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter (24%) and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The Smokefree campaign coincides with the first year that all cigarettes in the UK will be sold in unattractive standard packs with graphic picture health warnings, many of which illustrate how
smoking causes CVD and death.
Public Health England insights show that one of the biggest motivators for smokers to quit is family, alongside health. The campaign has released a short film featuring children’s TV and NHS doctor Dr Ranj and primary school children creating their own heartfelt messages about the dangers of smoking inspired by the new standard packs.
Smokers are encouraged to search ‘Smokefree’ online for free quitting support and tools - including local stop smoking services, Quit Kits, the Smokefree App, and email and text support - to help them give up in the new year.