New hard-hitting quit smoking campaign aims to help create a smokefree city region.

A hard-hitting quit smoking campaign has been launched today (November 1) by Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership.

The ‘What Will You Miss’ campaign is running on TV, radio and social media, and across Greater Manchester.

It has the stark message that up to two in three smokers will die early if they don’t quit, data suggests.

The campaign is part of wider ambitions to become a smokefree city region by 2030.

It comes as the Government has launched a UK-wide consultation on its stopping the start plan. This aims to continually raise the age at which people can smoke to stop young people taking it up.

Additional funding has been announced for mass media campaigns across the country. The new Greater Manchester campaign highlights the importance of hard-hitting health messages for people to make changes to quit smoking.

Smoking statistics

In greater Manchester it’s estimated that:

  • around 5,700 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses
  • 150,000 smokers are living in ill-health
  • almost 15,000 people are out of work due to smoking-related illness

As part of NHS Greater Manchester’s Make Smoking History programme, free, personalised support is available for residents who smoke. This includes  24/7 access to trained stop smoking advisors on the Smoke Free App which has helped 1 million people to quit smoking to date.

Dr Matt Evison, clinical lead for Make Smoking History, said: “Most people who smoke get addicted as children and desperately want to stop. This new campaign emphasises that people who smoke won’t escape its harms.

“As a respiratory consultant, I sadly see the impact of smoking every day. I know what it’s like to tell someone that they won’t see their child or grandchild grow up, get married and enjoy all the things they’re most looking forward to. There is no greater thing that someone can do for their health than stop smoking.”

Deter young people from smoking

The campaign is backed by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester. He said: “Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death and ill-health in Greater Manchester. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by the repercussions of tobacco.

“That’s why we want to do everything we can to deter young people from even trying a cigarette, in turn preventing a possible lifetime of addiction and illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

“Tobacco harms our communities, the NHS and the economy. We are committed to creating a healthier, smokefree future for everyone in Greater Manchester and support the government’s consultation as we work together to tackle inequalities in smoking prevalence and smoking-related harms.”

Paul Dennett is chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership Board and Deputy Mayor for Greater Manchester.

He added: “In Greater Manchester we have sought to make smoking history since 2018, to improve health inequalities and drive smoking prevalence down.

“The rates are going in the right direction, but 14 per cent of adults in the city-region still smoke regularly. We need to continue do everything we can to encourage people to quit smoking and achieve our smokefree ambition.

“It’s important that we raise awareness of the vast free and personalised support available and the ‘What Will You Miss’ campaign is one way we can help to share this message far and wide.”

Tips to quit smoking from Make Smoking History

  • Use the Smoke Free app. This free app provides 24/7 support at the touch of a button. If you live in Greater Manchester you can get six months access to all features on the app for free
  • You’re much more likely to quit for good with help than relying on will power alone. Therefore, make the most of local advice and support services in your area.
  • Try switching to e-cigarettes or vapes. Many smokers have quit by making the switch.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (or NRT) can help combat cravings when you first stop smoking. You can buy products over the counter or from your pharmacist. In some cases, they are even available free or on prescription from your local stop smoking service or GP.

For free, personalised support to stop smoking in Greater Manchester visit Make Smoking History or call the NHS Stop Smoking Helpline on 0300 123 1044. 


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