Commend England for New Anti-Smoking Ad Campaign

Target: England’s Department of Health

Goal: Bring attention to England’s new ad campaign and draw support for their aggressive approach to get people to stop smoking.

England’s Department of Health has launched an aggressive new ad campaign to get people to stop smoking. The graphic ad is meant to alert the public to the very real danger caused by smoking and does not sugarcoat the deadly effects on one’s health that are direct results of starting to smoke. Sign this petition and commend England for launching this new anti-smoking ad campaign.

The ad campaign will appear online, on posters, and on TV until February 2013. The graphic ad shows a man smoking a cigarette while a tumor grows from the end of the cigarette. The ad also tells people that cancerous tumors grow from mutations in cells that are caused by the chemicals found in cigarette smoke. The ad then states that the amount of chemicals found in as little as 15 cigarettes can cause a mutation. This advertisement is considered a return to shock campaigning and has received the normal criticisms from those who do not think that avid smokers can be discouraged from their habit.

The truth is that many people believe the dangers from smoking to be exaggerated and think that if they smoke for just a few years—while in college, during their 20’s, or with the intent of quitting before they turn 30—they are safe from these dangers. The fact that smoking kills somehow gets diminished to the thought that smoking just harms your health, and this could mean anything from giving someone a nasty cough to affecting the distance that someone can easily run. People rarely associate smoking with directly causing cell mutations leading to cancerous tumors in the body. This advertisement is shocking because the truth is shocking, that even with the knowledge of how smoking destroys and breaks down the body, nations still allow the production and sale of tobacco products.

From bans on tobacco displays to new laws concerning health warnings and packaging on tobacco products, the 2012 year has seen a lot of progress in the global movement to get people to stop smoking. But what has been so influential is that many of these changes have not been brought forth solely by anti-tobacco groups, but by the governments of nations such as Australia, Scotland, the nations of the European Union, and now England.

Sign this petition and commend England for its part in the global movement and for launching this new anti-smoking campaign.


Dear England Department of Health,

Thank you for launching the new anti-smoking campaign which features the direct link between smoking and cancerous tumors forming in the body. This ad helps to break the widely held untruth that someone has to smoke for a very long time to be harmed by the habit because the ad clearly states that just 15 cigarettes can start the cell mutations that cause tumors.

The fact that England is not afraid to accurately depict the effects of smoking will hopefully be a tipping point for other nations to follow suit with their own government funded anti-smoking campaigns. The sad truth is that people are desensitized to stories of grief because everyone knows someone who has died from cancer and it is now harder to see the direct causal link between smoking and cancer.  This ad brings us back to that link.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: quinn.anya via flickr

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