Smokers Hooked On 5000 Fags!

The average British smoker is 'hooked' on more than 5000 cigarettes a year*, says a hard-hitting government campaign due to air in the New Year.

The HOOK campaign adverts, which will launch on TV, outdoor billboards and online on 1 January, show smokers being violently seized by a fish-hook as they are dragged to their traditional smoking spots. The ads highlight how addictive cigarettes are and that although smokers often think their smoking is just a habit which they can control, the habit is actually controlling them.

Hard Hitting Anti-Smoking AdvertsThe nicotine in cigarettes is a powerful and fast-acting drug which after entering a smoker's bloodstream, affects their brain seven to 10 seconds later. It produces a nicotine 'rush' which many smokers interpret as pleasure, but in reality is simply the relief of satisfying a craving for nicotine.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said:

"We know that many smokers will be considering stopping smoking in January as part of their New Year resolution and in advance of the smokefree legislation being implemented on 1 July 2007. These adverts highlight the controlling nature of tobacco. On average, British smokers consume 14 cigarettes a day, 5110 cigarettes a year. Smoking devastates hundreds of thousand of lives a year - killing 106,000 people each year in the UK - we want HOOK to encourage as many people as possible to stop smoking."

Professor Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology, University College London commented:

"Smoking is not just a habit - for many smokers it's a complex and powerful addiction. The nicotine in cigarette smoke can be as addictive as heroin and crack cocaine. Although most smokers believe that cigarettes help them cope, the evidence shows that it makes things worse and that ex-smokers have lower stress levels than smokers who are constantly having to go through a cycle of withdrawal symptoms and smoking to relieve these.

"Talk of 'giving up' smoking is actually quite wrong - by quitting tobacco and getting 'unhooked' you are in fact gaining control and freeing yourself from lethal cycle of addiction. Recent research has found that 70% of ex-smokers say they are happier than when they were smoking and only 3% report being less happy."

The Department of Health says this campaign aims to motivate smokers to stop smoking and to encourage them to access the range of free NHS support available to help them get unhooked.

Caroline Flint said:

"Smoking is an addiction which makes quitting daunting and difficult. But there has never been more free help available on the NHS to get you unhooked. That's why we are combining the Hook advertising with adverts that promote the range of help of NHS support, such as the NHS Stop Smoking Services."

Get unhooked: Call 0800 169 0 169 or visit getunhooked.co.uk

* The average smoker has 14 cigs a day. From: Table 1.16 General Household Survey 2005 (Office for National Statistics).


Source: GNN


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