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The new NHS smoking campaign

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 12 February 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:454
  1. Jonathan Foulds, senior lecturer in clinical psychology
  1. University of Surrey, Guildford

    The UK government's 1998 white paper on tobacco promised that £60m would be spent over three years to set up smoking cessation services in the NHS and that these services would be backed up by an advertising campaign. The campaign—“Don't give up giving up”—was launched in December 1999. This initial £5m media campaign comprises posters and six weeks of television advertising; it offers tips on giving up, testimonials from people with smoking related diseases, and a video diary of nicotine addicts trying to quit. All the advertisements feature genuine smokers: there is not an actor in sight.

    The testimonials are particularly powerful. It would be surprising if the story of a 43 year old woman who died of lung cancer three weeks after filming didn't prompt many smokers to think again. The video diaries provide a day by day account of smokers' efforts to quit. They seem partly to …

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