New film pictures heartfelt call by children to quit smoking

Somerset County Council is supporting a new hard-hitting campaign highlighting the damaging effect smoking has on the heart.

The Smokefree Health Harms campaign from Public Health England reveals the two biggest motivators for smokers to quit are their own health and their loved ones.

Public Health England has released a short film featuring children’s TV and NHS doctor Dr Ranj and primary school children who have created their own heartfelt messages to loved ones about the dangers of smoking.

The film focuses on the damage that smoking does to the heart and circulatory system, inspired by the new unattractive standard packs, with graphic picture health warnings.

About 16% of the adult population of Somerset currently smokes which equates to around 75,000 people.

Councillor Anna Groskop, Cabinet member for Public Health, Somerset County Council, said: “Quitting smoking is the single best thing anyone can do for their health. If you intended to give up smoking on New Year’s and didn’t manage it don’t despair. Just set a new goal and sign up now for help.

“Successful quitters make many failed attempts before they succeed. The important thing is to keep trying until you succeed.”

Public Health England reveals that 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking, which is over 16,500 a year in England.

Cardiovascular disease includes all diseases of the heart and circulation, including heart attacks and strokes. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter (24%) and it 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 the new standard packs.

Smokers are encouraged to search ‘Smokefree’ online for free quitting support and tools to help them give up. The support available includes app, email, text and expert help from your local stop smoking service.

You can view the film on YouTube here:

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email

Notes to Editors
• The children featured in the film are from a primary school in Coventry. for background information, including statistics, on smoking in Somerset.