Govt returns to shock tactics in smoking ad

The government is to launch what it claims is the “most hard-hitting” anti-smoking campaign in recent years to warn of the hidden dangers to children from second-hand smoke.

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A television advertisement, breaking today (31 March), highlights how smoking by a window or backdoor can still cause harm to children through “hidden” toxins. It will be backed by radio, digital, direct mail and press activity.

It is the first campaign in five years to focus on health harms. Recent activity has focused on the stories of smokers that have quit in a bid to motivate others to do the same.

Department of Health marketing director Sheila Mitchell says that the “iconic, hard-hitting” campaign is an attempt to remind smokers that the ban on smoking in public places has not lessened the dangers of second-hand smoke.

“There is a generation of young people that haven’t been exposed to a large national smoke-free campaign which focuses on health harms. So, the time was right to remind people of the serious impact second-hand smoke has on others, especially children.”

The campaign comes as a Department of Health commissioned survey finds that 98% of children of parents that smoke want to see then quit, while 82% want to see their parents stop smoking in front of them.

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