Today is the Day, launched by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), features a heartfelt plea from respiratory doctor Ruth Sharrock for smokers to quit today to protect themselves from smoking-related diseases and increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in Blackpool, responsible for over 376 deaths a year . Every year, an additional 377 children take up smoking in Blackpool .
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, more than 100,000 smokers in the North West have quit smoking, according to new analysis by ASH and University College London. However, a further 64,205 smokers across the region have been unsuccessful in their attempts to quit. 
The new campaign, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, will be directing smokers to effective forms of support to quit on the NHS Smokefree website. Today is the Day builds on successful campaigns in the North East and Greater Manchester, and will target smokers across the North West through a combination of radio, digital audio and online advertisements.
Cllr Jo Farrell, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, said:
“Smoking remains the biggest killer in Blackpool, which is why we’re backing this campaign and encouraging all smokers to do everything they can to quit.
“There’s no time like the present. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all conscious of the need to protect ourselves, our families and our loved ones.
“A number of resources are available to help you on your journey towards quitting, such as our Smokefree Blackpool service, which offers telephone advice as well as a free mobile app and medication.”
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said:
“Over 102,457 smokers have succeeded in stopping smoking in the North West region since COVID-19 hit us, but that still leaves many thousands more smokers who have not. This campaign is designed to encourage those who’ve not yet succeeded to wake up and decide today is the day to stop smoking.”