July 1, 2005

British government goes after smokers’ sex lives

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government launched a series
of tough anti-cigarette adverts on Friday with the message that
smoking is bad for your sex life because it makes men impotent
and women ugly.

The campaign is designed to target young Britons' fears
about their sexual attractiveness -- an area the government
says is more effective than highlighting general health

One ad uses a burning cigarette end between two
"fingerlegs" as a metaphor for a penis with the strapline "Does
smoking make you hard? Not if it means you can't get it up."

Another targets women saying cigarettes lead to premature
skin aging and warns that smoking causes "cat's bum mouth."

"We know 70 percent of smokers want to stop smoking,
however, with younger people, fears about attractiveness and
fertility can be a stronger motivation to quit than fears about
health," said Public Health Minister Caroline Flint. The
government says smoking increases the risk of erectile
dysfunction by around 50 percent for men in their 30s and 40s
and that up to 120,000 British men in this age group were
impotent as a result of smoking.

A recent survey by NHS Smoking Helpline also found
two-thirds of young men and women, and over half of smokers,
said smoking reduced sexual attractiveness.