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."

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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