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New National Campaign highlights poisons from tar in cigarettes

Posted on the 5th January 2018

To coincide with a new Public Health England (PHE) campaign highlighting the dangers of tar in cigarettes, smokers in Lancashire are being urged to stop smoking this New Year with help from the Quit Squad.

The latest campaign has been launched to show how poisons from tar in cigarettes enter the bloodstream, spread around the body within seconds and cause damage to major organs. The campaign includes a 20 second advert featuring a man lighting up outside a building and the blood vessels in his arms, face and hands turning black as chemicals from the cigarette tar enter his body.

To help explain the ongoing internal harm that is caused, a group of seven lifelong smokers – including TV presenter and entrepreneur Hilary Devey – declare their intention to quit after seeing the results of a lab demonstration. The test results 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. Elevated levels of these substances were seen in the participants’ blood and can lead to an increased risk of major damage to the body. Exposure to cadmium for a long period of time is associated with an increased risk of damage to the kidneys and bones and may lead to lung cancer. Research shows that if you regularly smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, you are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer compared with a non-smoker.

Gareth Beck from the Quit Squad said:

“Smoking is a deadly dependency. The new campaign shows how every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the bloodstream in seconds. We are urging every smoker in Lancashire to take advantage of the free Quit Squad support and quit smoking by reminding them that they are 4 times more likely to quit with our support”

“Tar from cigarettes causes damage to major organs, the bones and increases your risk of cancer and diseases. 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 matter of days.

“I know how difficult it is to stop but the important thing is to commit to trying again, no matter how many times you might have tried and failed in the past – it’s never too late, to quit”

The Quit Squad is a service delivered by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and funded by Lancashire County Council. You can access the service in your local community by visiting a drop-in clinic (for which no appointments are required) or by attending a one-to-one session. The Quit Squad also offers sessions in the community and workplace. For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad.