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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 23:12 GMT 00:12 UK
TV ads show smoking is 'unsexy'
One of the advertisements
Smoking increases the risk of impotence
Risqué TV, radio and billboard ads will be appearing across the UK from July to drill home the message to young people that smoking is not sexy.

One of the government-funded images carries the strapline "Your penis thinks you should stop smoking" to highlight the risk of impotency.

Ministers say fears about fertility and attractiveness are stronger motivators for young people to quit than health.

A survey suggests one in two smokers would quit to improve their sex appeal.

The NHS Smoking Helpline questionnaire also revealed that more than two-thirds of young men and women believe smoking makes them less attractive.

Half of men said they associated smoking with wrinkles, bad skin and less enjoyable kissing.

With younger people, fears about attractiveness and fertility can be a stronger motivation to quit
Public Health Minister Caroline Flint

Another of the ads shows stark images of the effect of smoking on women's appearance and attractiveness to men, with messages such as "If you smoke, you stink", "Minging teeth" and "Cat's bum mouth".

Websites called "Staying Hard" and Ugly Smoking" will also be launched, alongside a sticker campaign in pub and club toilets.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said: "This latest series of adverts marks a new and exciting route for the campaign.

"A key part of our drive to reduce overall smoking prevalence is getting the message to harder-to-reach young adult audiences.

Hard-hitting

"We know 70% of smokers want to stop smoking; however, with younger people, fears about attractiveness and fertility can be a stronger motivation to quit than fears about health.

"It is hoped that the hard hitting messages in this new campaign will make young people quit smoking for good."

One of the advertisements
Smoking can damage your teeth

Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by around 50% for men in their 30s and 40s and up to 120,000 men from the UK in this age group are impotent as a direct result of smoking, experts estimate.

Clive Gingell, chairman of the Sexual Dysfunction Association, said: "By making men aware of how smoking can affect their sexual performance in middle age, hopefully this new campaign should provide men with an additional and compelling reason to quit."

Dr Bav Shergill, from the British Skin Foundation, said: "Giving up smoking can not only add years to your life, it also adds years to your appearance and can help stop premature aging before it's too late."

However, Simon Clark, director of the smokers' lobby group Forest, said: "To try and suggest that smoking is a major cause of impotence is a scare tactic.

"It's nasty because it is not only setting out to de-normalise smoking, but really to make smokers feel incredibly guilty about their habit."




SEE ALSO:
Why smokers' skin 'ages' faster
23 Mar 01 |  Health
Smoking 'a blight on fertility'
11 Feb 04 |  Health


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