Hard hitting ads show the reality of nicotine addiction.

Friday 29 December 2006

A new TV advertising campaign to be aired in the New Year will show smokers literally ‘hooked’ on tobacco. [1] The stark images of smokers being caught by giant fish hooks visually demonstrates the strength of nicotine addiction and shows how many people continue to smoke against their free will.

Whilst the tobacco industry insists people have the “choice” whether or not smoke, in practice more than two-thirds of smokers want to stop but find it hard to do so because of their addiction to nicotine. [2]  Furthermore, among those who do manage to stop smoking, 70% say that they are happier than when they smoked.

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

“For decades tobacco companies publicly denied that nicotine was addictive yet privately they knew that it was the nicotine in cigarettes that kept people hooked on their deadly products. The tobacco industry spent millions of pounds promoting cigarettes as symbols of freedom and glamour yet the reality is a life chained to an addictive drug, of years of ill health, and for half of all smokers, a life ending in misery and premature death.  [3]

We hope the new media campaign will jolt smokers into questioning their reasons for continuing to smoke and to start to focus on the benefits of being free from tobacco.”

Notes and links:

[1]  For further details of the media campaign contact the Department of Health Media Centre on 020 7210 5707 (media) or 020 7210 4850 (other enquiries)

[2]  According to the latest General Household Survey, 68% of smokers said they would like to give up smoking altogether.  ONS, November 2006

[3] Examples of tobacco industry obfuscation and disinformation about nicotine can be found in the ASH  reports Tobacco Explained (pdf) and Trust Us We’re the Tobacco Industry (pdf). See also the ASH Factsheet:

Nicotine and Addiction (pdf)


Contact: Deborah Arnott  020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available


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