TV Anti-smoking campaign launched to show toxic damage to vital organs

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Anti-smoking campaign launched to show cyanide and arsenic damage

A new public health campaign in England is highlighting the toxic damage tobacco smoke does to vital organs such as the brain, as well as the lungs.   The TV adverts warn how smoke makes blood “dirty and thick with toxins” which then circulate in the body, increasing the risks of a stroke.

“If you could see the damage, you’d stop”, say the adverts, aimed at encouraging smokers to quit.   The film shows a man standing outside smoking. It then illustrates how the smoke he inhales enters his lungs before passing through his blood vessels into his heart and finally his brain.   As the film pans through the body, it shows the organs being rapidly damaged.

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: “We know about the serious effect smoking has on the heart and lungs but smokers need to be aware of how much potential damage is being done to the brain and other vital organs through toxins in cigarettes entering the blood.

“Smoking is the major cause of premature death, with one in two smokers dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases, and it is extremely worrying that people still underestimate the health harms associated with it.

“However, it is not all doom and gloom for smokers looking to quit this New Year. Within five years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke can be reduced to the same as a lifetime non-smoker.”   Professor Kevin Fenton, national director for health and wellbeing for Public Health England, said: “Tar, arsenic, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide – these all have either effects that they can cause cancers or they can cause significant amounts of damage to the lining of blood vessels.

“We really want to draw attention to that toxic nature of cigarette smoke and the ways it can be dealt with – which are either to stop smoking or to switch to healthier nicotine delivery systems – for example nicotine patches, etc.”   Prof Fenton added more needed to be done to encourage people to quit smoking.

“That’s why this campaign is so important – and doing it at the time of the New Year when people are making resolutions really will help to support many smokers to make that decision to quit.”

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