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About Us

About Us

Fresh was the UK's first dedicated regional tobacco control programme, set up in the North East in 2005 to tackle what were then the worst rates of smoking-related illness and death in the country.


Since then the region has seen the largest fall in smoking in England, from 29% of people smoking in 2005 to 15.3% of people smoking in 2019.  That is a fall of 47.2% - larger even than the South East of England.


We are delivering a programme of eight key strands of activity which are all designed to work together to motivate and support current smokers to stop, to reduce the numbers of young people taking up smoking and to provide protection to non-smokers from secondhand smoke harm. 



We have developed and run award-winning and effective media campaigns such as Don't Wait, Quit 16, Don't be the 1 and Keep It Out, have campaigned as a core member of the Smokefree Action Coalition on key issues including smokefree legislation and standardised plain packaging, and are now calling on the Government to introduce a levy on the hugely profitable tobacco companies to make them pay towards the burden that their lethal products create.


Fresh has been highlighted in national tobacco control plans, received recognition from the World Health Organisation, and was singled out for praise by both the Public Health Minister Steve Brine and Shadow Public Health Minister Sharon Hodgson for our work in May 2018.

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We also run system wide innovative programmes addressing issues including illegal tobacco, smoking during pregnancy and supporting the NHS to implement cost effective life-saving guidance.


Fresh works with a wide range of partners in both the North East of England, nationally and internationally and uses the substantial international evidence base to inform all that we do.


We are never anti-smoker and recognise that smoking is a chronic relapsing long term condition which nearly always starts in childhood and that there should be support available to help smokers to quit.


Fresh is currently funded by local authority public health. In addition we have provided support, assistance and campaigns to other parts of England including the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Yorkshire and Humber, the South West, London and Wales. We can be commissioned to provide a range of advice, consultancy support and licenses to use our award winning campaigns.


Fresh is hosted by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and based alongside the Balance programme. Together we are working to address the harms from both tobacco and alcohol.


To contact us or  to make an enquiry email us at


To find out more about the award winning Balance work visit: