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NHS Smokefree Campaign - Swap to Stop

The NHS is initiating a fresh smoke-free campaign aimed at inspiring all 5.3 million smokers in England to embark on a quit attempt this January.

  • Former England goalkeeper and ex-smoker David James urges parents to quit for their kids’ sake in poignant video campaign discussing own struggles to kick the habit
  • Research shows teens more than 3 times as likely to smoke if their parents, caregivers or friends do
  • Comes as NHS Smokefree campaign encourages 5.3 million smokers in England to make a quit attempt this January to improve health and reduce likelihood of young people starting
  • Major new survey shows three-quarters of people in England back government’s historic plans to create the first smokefree generation - regardless of age or region
  • First 259,000 vapes to be provided to local authorities nationwide to support smokers to quit under world-first Swap to Stop scheme

In a powerful campaign video released today, former England goalkeeper and ex-smoker David James, alongside other ex-smokers, shares their experiences of how their parents' smoking influenced them to take up the habit and how their commitment to protecting children motivated them to quit.

This coincides with the launch of a new NHS smoke-free campaign, urging all 5.3 million smokers in England to attempt quitting this January, not just for their well-being but also to prevent young people from being swayed into smoking.

Research underscores a harsh reality – teenagers are over three times more likely to smoke if their parents, caregivers, or friends engage in smoking. In the poignant video, the former England goalkeeper reflects on how family and friends smoking around him during his youth led him to adopt the habit, impacting his performance on the football stage.

The UK is pioneering efforts to become the first country globally to create a smoke-free generation by phasing out tobacco sales. A forthcoming law will prevent the legal sale of tobacco to children who turned 14 in 2023 or are younger in England.

A YouGov survey commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reveals strong support for the concept of a smoke-free generation, with 76% of people in England endorsing it, and only 9% opposing. Support is consistent across various age groups and regions.

For more information visit GOV.UK