PLANS to eradicate smoking in Greater Manchester by 2028 could see more smoke free places introduced, tobacco retailers licensed and a 'polluter levy' implemented.

A couple from Bolton is helping the region towards this goal by becoming the face of a new campaign, History Makers.

Vanita and Dashrath Kapadia run an off-licence grocers shop and have chosen to front the campaign because they believe in making Bolton a smoke free town.

Mrs Kapadia, aged 56, said: "I’m so passionate about ending all smoking in Bolton and our surrounding communities — what a great day in history that would be.

“I hate the smell of smoking and the way that it gets onto your clothes and pollutes the air that you breathe. I remember travelling on coaches, the car and on planes when I was younger, and the smell of smoking just made feel sick. I feel like there’s been a lot of progress since then, but I’d love it if we could go all the way and stop people dying from tobacco-related illnesses altogether.

“I think smoking in public places needs to stop. I’m in a really fortunate position, as the owner of a local shop, as I encounter members of our local community on a daily basis. This could be beneficial to help to raise awareness.

“I’m thrilled that I’m able to help front this campaign, to help raise awareness of the dangers of smoking, and to encourage positive changes in Bolton.”

In Greater Manchester there are estimated to be 400,000 smokers and through sick days at work, smoking-related fires and loss of productivity they are thought to be costing the region £785 million.

Nationally 15.8 per cent of people smoke.

People are being asked to give their views about the plan to radically cut adult smoking and deliver a tobacco free generation through a whole range of local actions, including extending smokefree places and licensing tobacco retailers.

The History Makers survey will also ask people to voice their opinion on whether tobacco companies should pay a ‘polluter levy’ for harm caused by their products.

Smokers still tend to start when they are children and according to the History Makers campaign, a child in Greater Manchester starts smoking every hour.

Sarah Price, director of population health and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “While the numbers of young people taking up smoking has reduced drastically over the past ten years, we still have too many smoking and starting to smoke. We plan to deliver a tobacco-free generation with our communities.

“Smoking is everyone’s business. The harm from tobacco addiction affects our whole society, from the pain and suffering of individuals and their families to the preventable costs to the economy and public services."

People in Bury are urged to take the survey by visiting online. The survey can be completed until April 30.