New TV ads will make smoking seem ridiculous

27th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 May 2005, BRUSSELS — Television stations in Spain and other EU countries will begin airing new anti-smoking ads using ridicule to keep teenagers from lighting up and to get adults to kick the habit.

27 May 2005

BRUSSELS — Television stations in Spain and other EU countries will begin airing new anti-smoking ads using ridicule to keep teenagers from lighting up and to get adults to kick the habit.

The advertisements, which will be carried in Spain by Telecinco early next month, have a "different focus" from previous European anti-smoking campaigns, officials said.

Instead of dramatising the consequences of smoking, the ads take a humorous look at a vice that "is not good, bothers others and is not good for anything," European Commissioner for health and consumer protection Markos Kyprianou said.

The adverts make smokers appear ridiculous and aim to take away "all glamour" from them, Kyprianou said.

One of the ads, targeting young people, shows a teenager whose friends pressure him to start smoking, another features an adult who wants to quit and the third is about a person forced to deal with cigarette smoke at a party.

The three spots tell viewers that they can get help to quit smoking, and provide a web address for a site created to assist European smokers (www.help-eu.com).

The public-service ads, which begin airing 6 June, are part of the "Help" anti-smoking campaign, which Brussels is spending EUR 72 million on over the next four years.

The ads will run in two phases, with the first hitting the airwaves in June and the second airing in September.

In addition to running on national networks, the ads will appear on MTV, Euronews and Eurosport.

The commissioner said nearly 650,000 people die each year in the European Union from diseases related to cigarette smoking, or the equivalent of one person per minute.

About 31 percent of the Spanish population smokes, a figure which is falling according to latest research.

EU officials said there were clear differences in the attitudes toward tobacco of young people in northern and southern Europe.

Those in the north more aware of the dangers of smoking, thanks to education campaigns that have been carried out in their countries for years, while in the south youths were "less receptive" to information about the effects of smoking.

"In the south, tobacco is associated with partying, with time spent with others, while in the north it is (seen as) more of a vice that isolates you from others, given that people are aware of the harm it can do to those who don't smoke," an EU official said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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