Ads show truth about smoking

Tuesday 16 December 1997

ASH/ Press releases/


102 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (020) 7739 5902 Fax: (020) 7613 0531

Press release16 December 1997 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

Embargoed until 1100 hrs,
Tuesday 16 December 1997 

Ads show truth about smoking

ASH today applauded the Health Education Authority for its newhard-hitting anti-smoking advertising campaign. Commenting on the new ads which featurevictims of smoking-induced diseases, Clive Bates, Director of ASH, said:

“These ads show the stark truth about smoking. There is nothingglamorous about lung cancer or heart disease. Smoking is not about looking cool on thecatwalk or driving a Formula One racing car: smoking is addictive and deadly.”

Now that the end of tobacco advertising is in sight, it is time to tellthe truth about tobacco. ASH is calling on the Government to spend at least an amountequivalent to that spent on the annual anti-drink drive campaigns on anti-smokingmessages. But to be really effective, ASH believes the spending on smoking educationshould match that previously spent by the tobacco companies on alluring teenagers to alife-time of smoking. [1]

ASH believes the HEA’s new advertisements will finally dispel themyth that smoking only kills people in old age.[2] Most people start smoking in theirearly teens when they do not appreciate the addictiveness of nicotine. Clive Batescommented:

“Sadly, what often starts asa teenage experiment quickly turns to a compulsive habit. By the time young smokers reachadulthood they are hooked onto a drug which then takes control of their lives.”


Notes to editors:

[1] It is estimated that the tobacco industry currently spends around£100 million a year promoting itsproducts.

[2] Half of all smokers will be killed by a smoking disease and onequarter will die in middle age, losing on average 20-25 years of life. Source: Peto R.Smoking and death: the past 40 years and the next 40. BMJ 1994; 309: p937-9.

Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902

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