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.
The 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
"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
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 'Hook'TV advertising will be on air from 1 January - 4 February, and will
be supported by other media including outdoor and online advertising. Seventy
percent of smokers feel dependent on Cigarettes. Of these, 27% feel very
dependent on Cigarettes.
Women feel More dependent on Cigarettes than men - 74% compaRed to 66%. The
More you smoke, the More likely you are to wish you weren't so dependent on
Cigarettes - 84% of heavy smokers, 77% of Medium smokers and 62% of light
smokers wish they weren't so dependent.
However the addiction can be beaten, and the campaign shows you how. There are
now as many ex smokers as smokers in England (24% of adults currently smoke ,
24% of adults have quit).
Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health -
and the benefits are immediate. Just three days after quitting your sense of
taste and smell will have returned, within three weeks your circulation will
be better and within three months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems
will have improved.
11pm every day for information requests and referrals, with unlimited access
to trained advisors giving one-to-one advice and support from 10am. Since its
launch it has received over 1 million calls. A year after first calling the
NHS Smoking Helpline, nearly a quarter of callers said they had successfully
given up and were still not smoking.
NHS Smoking Helpline advisors can refer callers to a local NHS Stop Smoking
Service offering ongoing free face-to-face support and advice near their
own home. There are over 170 throughout the country, offering a range of
services including one-to-one meetings and group discussions with trained
cessation advisors. Government research shows that smokers are up to four
times More likely to give up successfully if they use their local NHS Stop
Smoking Service together with NRT than they are if they use willpower alone.
Local NHS Stop Smoking Advisors meet smokers individually or as part of a
group for an hour or two a week for six or seven weeks. Quitters usually spend
the first two sessions planning and preparing to give up and then quit in the
third week. NHS Stop Smoking Advisors are able to inform each quitter about
NRT and Zyban, and can provide relevant treatments, for free or at low cost,
on prescription. Many services have carbon monoxide monitors, so quitters
are able to measure how quickly their bodies return to normal once they have
stopped smoking. Many areas also run monthly relapse prevention meetings,
or regular drop-in sessions for smokers who need ongoing help and assistance.