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UK government advertising urges smokers to quit smoking in the New Year

30 December 2017

A government advertising campaign in the UK is urging smokers to kick the butt in the New Year using graphic images of the harm caused by toxic chemicals to body tissues.

The 20-second advertisement shows a lone man lighting up outside a building. Within seconds the blood vessels in his arms, face and hands turn black as chemicals from the cigarette tar enter his body.

''Every cigarette you smoke causes poison from tar to enter your bloodstream and spread to every part of your body. If you could see the damage, you'd stop,'' the voiceover states.

In addition to the advertisement, Public Health England, has also released other media including a short film in which a GP, Dr Dawn Harper, talks to a group of smokers. She explains that the elevated levels of carbon monoxide, cadmium and cancer-causing substances called nitrosamines in their blood, cause damage to their body. She goes on to explain that the levels of these chemicals drop off after they quit.

Martin Dockrell, head of tobacco control at Public Health England said that January was a popular time to kick the habit. ''Our campaign is to add to that motivation and give extra support to people who want to quit in the new year,'' The Guardian reported said.

Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, said, ''Every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the bloodstream in seconds, The Independent reported.

''People know that tar damages the lungs, but it's less well understood that the poisons also reach the other major organs in the body. We are urging every smoker to take advantage of the free support and quit for good this New Year.''

Health minister Steve Brine added that smokers lose about 10 years of life on average, saying, ''Although smoking rates are at their lowest level in decades, seven million of us still haven't kicked the habit.''

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