UK & World News
Anti-Smoking Campaign: New Ad Targets Addicts
Smokers are being targeted by a new TV advertising campaign which aims to scare them into giving up.
Graphic images of polluted blood flowing through the body of a smoker and damaging cells in his brain are used to reinforce the message that smoking increases the risk of dementia and strokes.
The campaign, funded by Public Health England, was launched by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies.
"We know about the serious effect smoking has on the heart and lungs but smokers need to be aware of how much potential damage is being done to the brain and other vital organs through toxins in cigarettes entering the blood," she said.
"Smoking is the major cause of premature death, with one in two smokers dying prematurely from smoking related diseases, and it is extremely worrying that people still underestimate the health harms associated with it."
Government figures show more than one in five adults in the UK admits to smoking, at an estimated cost to the economy of £5bn per year in health costs, sick leave and lost productivity.
The TV advert, to be shown in England from tomorrow, along with a billboard advertising showing clotted blood dripping from a cigarette, has been welcomed by Joe Korner from The Stroke Association.
"It is well known that smoking harms our health but the link between smoking and stroke is less well known," he said.
"Stroke is a major cause of death and adult disability in the UK and you are twice as likely to have a stroke if you smoke. The more you smoke, the more your risk increases."
Smokers outside the Sant' Angelo restaurant in Wetherby in West Yorkshire who watched a preview of the advert said it encouraged them to consider giving up, or smoking less.
Jo Maltby, 40, has smoked for 20 years and says she tried to give up many times before.
"That probably would give me a bit more of an inclination to (give up) because I have children," she said.
"Obviously the more damage I do to myself the less chance they've got of me being around."
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