In 2013, 40 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women said they smoked roll-ups - a huge increase since 1990 where only 18 per cent of men and just two per cent of women used that type.
New figures show that half of smokers who only smoke roll-ups believe they are less harmful than manufactured cigarettes - which isn’t the case.
Nottinghamshire County Council is raising awareness of the health dangers of roll-up cigarettes, and encouraging smokers across the county to give up the habit in the New Year as part a new campaign being led by Public Health England. The campaign features hard-hitting new adverts showing a hand-rolled cigarette with rotting flesh instead of tobacco, with the message that ‘smoking rots you from the inside out’.
Dr Chris Kenny, director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire County, said: “We’re trying to break down some preconceptions that some smokers have about the damage they could be doing to themselves.
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“We know that many people in Nottinghamshire smoke roll up cigarettes, and that often people think in some way that they are less damaging.
“In actual fact evidence shows that roll ups are at least as bad for your health as normal cigarettes.”
The Council continues to commission free specialist stop smoking services for residents via New Leaf, GPs and pharmacies.
Dr Kenny added people are four times more likely to stop smoking using these types of services.
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director for Health and Wellbeing for Public Health England said: “Much of the harm caused by smoking doesn’t become obvious until middle age but the invisible damage can start shockingly early - even by the late teens.
“The earlier a smoker quits the better, but quitting at any age can help reverse at least some of the damage. That’s why there is no time better than now to quit. Stop smoking and stop the rot.”
Contact New Leaf on 0800 389 7712, or visit your GP or pharmacy for more advice.