Bans can’t stub out this habit

If tobacco advertising legitimises smoking, how does Chris Powell of BMP DDB (MW December 6, 2001) explain the case of Leah Betts? After the tragic death of Miss Betts, her parents conducted a campaign to beg young people not to use ecstasy. What was the result? Home Office figures later revealed that young people’s consumption of Ecstasy increased significantly.

The truth is that in the eyes of young people, bans and warnings, not advertising, legitimise smoking. That is why smoking has fallen faster in countries that allow advertising than in those which don’t – and als

o why there is a higher concentration of low-tar cigarettes in countries that allow advertising.

Tobacco advertising is therefore a help not a hindrance to achieving the Government’s health objectives.

Philip Circus

Director of legal affairs

Institute of Sales Promotion

London N1

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