redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online
A new series of graphic anti-smoking television advertisements, which depict a tumor growing from the end of the cigarette as it is being smoked, has hit the airwaves in the UK.
According to The Telegraph, the commercials are the first anti-smoking ads released by the British government in eight years and will inform smokers that just 15 cigarettes are enough to cause a mutation that could ultimately lead to the formation of cancerous tumors.
“People will see a man smoking and then a cancer growing out of the cigarette. That is what happens in people’s bodies,” Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies told the newspaper on Friday.
“One-in-two smokers die from smoking, most from cancer,” she added. “We know that people don’t personalize the harms of smoking and don’t understand what’s happening in their bodies. This will show them.”
The £2.7 million ($4.36 million) advertising campaign will run through February and will also be featured online and on posters, according to BBC News.
Smokers, more than one-third of whom still believe tobacco-related health risks are overstated, according to the DOH, will also be told about National Health Service cessation kits available free of charge from UK pharmacies, they added.
“We want smokers to understand that each packet of cigarettes increases their risk of cancer,” Davies told the BBC. “We really want to catch all smokers but particularly the young who won’t have seen hard hitting campaigns before. They don’t understand what damage is happening in their bodies, what their risks are.”
“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,” added Cancer Research UK Chief Executive Dr. Harpal Kumar, whose organization is supporting the ad campaign. “Giving up smoking can be extremely difficult, so providing extra motivation and reminding people of just how harmful the habit is can help smokers to take that first step in quitting for good.”