A HARD-HITTING campaign launches today in Dorset to highlight the impact of tobacco on smokers and their loved ones.

The campaign, Be There Tomorrow, aims to encourage people to quit for their families and loved ones as well as their own health in order to avoid a premature death.

Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West, said: “This new campaign is based on a fact that is not well known among the public, that one in every two long-term smokers will die early of a tobacco-related disease.

“However, in the last five years, 108 million fewer cigarettes have been smoked in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, which is an estimated saving of a staggering £36.5 million on cigarettes or £20,482 per day.

“We are saying to all smokers in Dorset that one in two smokers will die early of a tobacco-related disease, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you.”

Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset, said: “We’ve made good progress in tackling smoking in Dorset, but some groups, particularly young people, are still at risk. Smokers know the risks, but taking the first step to quitting can be hard. There’s plenty of support available across the county from professionals who can help and guide people through those tricky early days and months.

“The benefits of stopping smoking are huge, even if you have smoked for a long time.”

The campaign will run for 10 weeks and will be shown only in the South West region, which now has one of the lowest smoking rates in England.

To find out more about the campaign and to find your local free NHS Stop Smoking Service, visit betheretomorrow.co.uk.