UK & World News
Anti-Smoking Ads Show Tumours On Cigarettes
A series of graphic anti-smoking adverts showing tumours growing on cigarettes are being launched in England.
They are part of the first shock anti-smoking campaign since the fatty cigarette advert eight years ago.
According to the Department of Health (DoH), just 15 cigarettes can cause a mutation than can lead to cancerous tumours.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said the campaign is in response to statistics which show more than a third of smokers still think the health risks are greatly exaggerated.
"People are playing Russian roulette with their health.
"What our evidence shows is that people don't personalise the impact of their own smoking.
"They don't understand what's going on in their own bodies, so that's why we're launching such a hard-hitting campaign.
"It's to show them a real picture of what cancer looks like and what happens in one in two long-term smokers."
The campaign, which cost £2.7m, will run for nine weeks on television, billboards and online.
England's eight million smokers are being urged to pick up a free NHS Quit Kit from pharmacies.
The last graphic adverts, in 2004, showed fatty deposits being squeezed from a smoker's artery and fat dripping from the end of cigarettes.
The following eight years have seen softer campaigns but the DoH says it believes the time is right to deliver a stronger message.
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, insisted the startling images in the ads are necessary.
"We have got to reduce the impact that tobacco has on the lives of far too many people," he said.
"It's not a lifestyle choice, it's an addiction that creeps into people's lives and results in death and disease."