Graphic ad campaign could shock smokers into quitting

The New Year is just four days away and with a New Year comes fresh determination to make positive changes in our lives as we are on the brink of New Year’s Eve – usually in the form of New Year’s resolutions. These could span from simple life goals such as cut down on chocolate, be a less selfish person, or more serious health-based resolutions such as lose weight or quit smoking.

The latter is such a common resolution to make for England’s 8 million smokers and with this in mind; the UK government has decided to seize the opportunity for our disposition to create health-related resolutions. In particularly, they are targeting these 8 million smokers with a nine-week long £2.7 million ad campaign which begins today and the core aim is to utilise shock tactics in attempt to get people to stop smoking.

TV, posters and billboards and the internet will all be used in The Department of Health’s (DoH) campaign in an attempt to reach the target audience. The disturbing graphic image chosen is that of a tumour growing from a cigarette as it is smoked and is the first ‘shock’-intended campaign since the infamous fatty cigarette advert in 2004 that depicted fatty deposits being squeezed out of a smoker’s artery, with dripping fat coming out of the end of the cigarette.

According to the DoH it merely takes just smoking 15 cigarettes to cause some type of mutation that can lead to cancer. Many people are unaware of this staggering fact though and Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies says that the new campaign has been devised following the gathering of statistics showing that over a third of smokers are under the misguided belief that health risks are over-exaggerated. However, keen readers of the Medical Specialists Pharmacy news section will know that the dangers of smoking  are certainly not exaggerated and smoking-related studies are continuously released, providing plenty of evidence that shows how damaging the habit actually is.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “People are playing Russian roulette with their health. What our evidence shows is that people don’t personalise the impact of their own smoking. They don’t understand what’s going on in their own bodies, so that’s why we’re launching such a hard-hitting campaign. It’s to show them a real picture of what cancer looks like and what happens in one in two long-term smokers. This is a hard-hitting campaign to get at the hidden harms of smoking. People will see a man smoking and then a cancer growing out of the cigarette. That is what happens in people’s bodies. One in two smokers dies from smoking, most from cancer. We know that people don’t personalise the harms of smoking and don’t understand what’s happening in their bodies. This will show them.”

Of course, quitting smoking is no easy task and estimates say that one out of every five smokers who tries to quit, relapses within just one day. The new DoH adverts will hopefully hit home with smokers though and show the awful harm that cigarettes do to the human body.  To support them, smokers are currently being encouraged to collect a free ‘Quit Kit’ from any local participating pharmacy.

Together with support from surrounding friends and family, as well as the Quit Kit and smoking cessation medication such as Champix, smokers will hopefully have enough tools in their armour to finally kick the habit in to touch!

Champix is a prescription medication that can be obtained from Medical Specialists following an online consultation with one of our GMC registered doctors. The medication works out at just £75.00 per pack. Champix mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment.

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