Graphic images showing the harm caused by cigarettes are to be used in a powerful new campaign aimed at Sheffield smokers.
The ‘Stop The Rot’ campaign will include the use of billboards featuring a roll-up cigarette full of decaying tissue, while an online advert will show a father casually rolling up a cigarette formed of rotting human flesh.
The Public Health England campaign is being supported by Sheffield Council in a bid to reduce the number of people in the city with the habit.
While smoking rates in the city have declined since the 1980s, around 23 per cent of adults in Sheffield still regularly smoke.
The campaign highlights new research that smoking also damages bones and muscles, the brain, teeth and eyes, in addition to causing cancer and harming the heart and lungs.
PHE says poisons in tobacco smoke break down the body’s vital systems - causing a slow and steady decline in a process akin to rotting.
Dr Jeremy Wight, director of public health for Sheffield, said: “I hope the campaign really highlights to people the damage smoking causes. There is no safe level of smoking for those who smoke or those around them. January is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and try to stop smoking. I hope that this year in Sheffield as many people as possible make a change in 2015 and leave smoking behind in the New Year.”
One of the campaign’s aims is to highlight the dangers of roll-ups, which almost half of smokers wrongly believe to be less harmful than normal cigarettes.