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10m lung cancer blitz
Around 21% of women smoke
A 10m programme has been launched to tackle lung cancer, the third most common cause of death in the UK.

The programme is part of an anti-smoking onslaught culminating in No Smoking Day on 10 March.

It includes the government's first anti-smoking poster campaign on the London Underground, aimed specifically at young women who are taking up the habit in growing numbers.

The 10m comes from the government's modernisation fund and is addition to 30m already pledged to improve services for breast and bowel cancer.

Smoking is estimated to cause 120,000 deaths a year. Some 30,000 of these are due to lung cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the least likely cancers to respond to treatment.

Improving care

The government wants health authorities to improve prevention and treatment programmes.

The number of teenage girls who smoke is rising
Health Minister Baroness Hayman said there was good evidence that organising services and care better so that cases were caught earlier could have a big impact on patients' lives.

Projects which are likely to be considered include plans to employ extra specialist doctors and nurses who can identify patients who may benefit from radical treatment at an early stage and plans to extend provision of radiotherapy.

The government wants to target the money at areas with the highest number of lung cancer cases.

Health authorities will be shortly invited to submit proposals for how they will use the money.

Tube campaign

The London Underground campaign targets young women by showing how smoking can damage their looks as well as their lungs.

About 21% of women smoke and the majority of them are under 40. In women aged 16-24, 29% smoke.

Research shows smoking causes skin to age prematurely and makes it thin and go grey.

The posters are part of the Health Education Authority's nationwide campaign to stop young women taking up the habit.

Launching the campaign, Public Health Minister Tessa Jowell said: "The number of young women who smoke is increasing and it is imperative that we find ways of communicating the risks of smoking in ways that will bring home the message.

"Young women are particularly concerned about their body image and their skin and this campaign graphically illustrates the real and damaging effects that smoking can have on the skin."

Advert row

A Harvey Nichols advertising campaign which shows a smartly-dressed young man having a cigarette was criticised by anti-smoking campaigners on Friday.

They have called the campaign by the fashion store's Leeds branch "appalling" and "irresponsible".

The advertisement is featured on buses in West Yorkshire to promote Harvey Nichols, which opened its Leeds store in 1996.

The campaign will be extended later this month to the London Underground and the capital's buses.

A spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) said: "We are doing our best to get across the dangers of smoking to young people and campaigns like this totally undermine us."

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