Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 00:16 UK

Regulator backs anti-smoking ad

A cigarette
The advert warns children could copy their parents

The advertising watchdog has rejected more than 200 complaints about a commercial that showed a young girl imitating her mother smoking.

The TV and cinema ad showed children copying parents' activities, to the song "I Wanna Be Like You", ending with a girl with a crayon imitating smoking.

Viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that children could be encouraged to smoke.

But the ASA said the Department of Health ad did not breach regulations.

The regulator noted the advert attempted to persuade adults who smoked to consider the effect it had on their children.

It said watching the ads was unlikely to be a determining factor in children becoming smokers in the future.

Smoking households

The ASA said: "We considered it likely that younger children would see the ads in the presence of their parents.

"We considered the anti-smoking message would have an even greater impact when seen by smoking parents in the presence of their children."

The ads showed children copying their parents in activities like baking and DIY, ending with a mother smoking and her daughter copying her with a crayon.

A voiceover said: "If you smoke, your children are more likely to smoke. Smoking. Don't keep it in the family."

The DoH said the ads were based on evidence suggesting that children who lived in smoking households were three times more likely to become smokers.

It said the ads aimed to motivate smokers to give up by highlighting that their actions would not go unnoticed by children.


SEE ALSO
Call to curb tobacco marketing
05 Sep 08 |  Health

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