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28 December 2023
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Smokers Encouraged to Quit This New Year

Department of Health and Social Care

In a hard-hitting campaign film released today, former England goalkeeper and ex-smoker David James joins a number of other ex-smokers to discuss the influence their parents’ smoking had on them taking up the habit themselves and how being around children was their motivation to quit.

It comes as the NHS launches a brand new smokefree campaign to encourage all 5.3 million smokers in England to make a quit attempt this January – not only for their health, but also to help ensure young people are not being influenced to start smoking.

Research lays bare the stark reality – teens are more than 3 times as likely to smoke if their parents, caregivers or friends do. In a new, poignant film released today, the former England goalkeeper discusses how his family members and friends smoked around him when he was a youngster, which led to him taking up the habit. In the film, he describes how smoking impacted his performance on the football world stage.

The UK is now in the lead to be the first country in the world to create a smokefree generation by phasing out the sale of tobacco, and is set to introduce a new law to stop children who turned 14 in 2023 – or are younger – from ever legally being sold tobacco in England.

Three-quarters (76%) of people in England support the principle of creating a smokefree generation a YouGov survey – commissioned by campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) – has found, with only 9% opposing. Support for creating a smokefree generation is similar regardless of age or region.

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