UK Government launches £2.7 million hard hitting anti-smoking campaign
The UK government has confirmed it is to launch a stop smoking advertising campaign, the first in England for eight years. The £2.7 million campaign encompasses TV, out-of-home and online and shows a cancerous tumour growing on a cigarette as it is smoked. The campaign, which is designed to shock, features the health risks attributed to smoking as the Department of Health says more than a third of smokers still believe the health risks from smoking are "exaggerated". Chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, commented: "It is extremely worrying that people still underestimate the serious health harms associated with smoking. "We want smokers to understand that each packet of cigarettes increases their risk of cancer." In the eight years since the Department of Health launched a major campaign figures have shown more than 570,000 people have died and more than three million have been admitted to hospital through smoking related diseases. The campaign aims to get smokers turning to the NHS for help, including picking up specialised 'quit kits' from pharmacies. Cancer Research UK has already leant it supper to the campaign, with chief executive Dr Harpal Kumar adding: "Hard hitting campaigns such as this illustrate the damage caused by smoking and this can encourage people to quit or may even stop them from starting in the first place. "We have got to reduce the impact that tobacco has on the lives of far too many people - it's not a 'lifestyle choice', it’s an addiction that creeps into people's lives and results in death and disease."