BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Talking Point
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
Forum 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 14:40 GMT
Smoking: Are shock ads acceptable?

Canada is planning to introduce graphic images of diseased hearts and cancerous lungs on cigarette packets in a dramatic move to shock smokers into kicking the habit.

Is this an effective and fair way of tackling smoking? Or is it a step too far?

Do you think shock ads will work? Or are smokers perfectly aware of the risks, and should be left alone?


Your Reaction


I think the government should stop wasting money on people who blatantly have no will power.

Chris, UK
Although shock tactics are pretty much always the best, I think the government should stop wasting money on people who blatantly have no will power. If smokers haven't got the power to stop themselves, maybe they deserve all they get from wasting their money and then feeling sorry for themselves. It's pretty sad. It's smokers' own faults and their own problem, don't drag the people who don't smoke into it.
Chris, UK

Come on, everyone knows that only people that smoke are the ones who will complain about it. So, big deal if you can't handle the truth about what really may happen then maybe that's a good indication you shouldn't have started the habit in the first place. And, it just might be giving you a hint to STOP. And, also I don't think the fact that smokers always kick back in public areas and give me a little bit of their poison is that tasteful either.
Sam, USA

Consider a system of Government that shows diseased lungs etc. on cigarette packages and is toying with the idea of legalising marijuana. Has this whole world gone mad?
Gerald, Canada

Smoking is a dangerous habit as ever smoker knows. However medical literature states that 2% of smoker give up per year as a result of confrontation from their GP (or Primary Health Care Team). A substantially larger proportion give up with will power and the aid of nicotine patches. We all know it is bad and we shouldn't do it, maybe the shock treatment is what some people need to make them consolidated in their thought to quit.
Dr Ian A Mollan, UK

I am in the opinion that shock tactics are the very best method as a deterrent. I saw this documentary on TV once, where this dead-bloke (died from total lung failure) had his lungs pulled out of his chest for a post-mortem, laden with puss & dripping with tar. I can tell you - I will never smoke ever again!!!!
John Heylen, England


Seeing a black lung is not going to frighten the craving or habit away.

Anon, UK
Working in the Health Service I see the outcome of years of smoking on many people yet I still smoke. I am in the process of quitting but it is an addiction - seeing a black lung is not going to frighten the craving or habit away. People say raise the price of cigarettes, fine, those really addicted will continue to smoke until they are financially crippled or they have the willpower to stop.
You quit smoking because you want to, not because people tell you to. And what of alcohol? It causes damage to the body too, are they going to put wasted kidneys and livers on beer bottles? Food too, Are there going to be pictures of obese people on every chocolate bar? I think not. Where would it stop? Is there any proof it would work in the first place?
Anon, UK

Make the adverts as realistic as possible, Create controversy, Appal the nation. Adults will still continue to smoke as will the children who are just as informed of the consequences. The problem will not cease until smoking areas are limited to the minimum, discipline is the problem. None of us really believe we will die from our own actions.
Mal, England

It's all very well the smokers getting on their high horse about being allowed to have the choice to damage their bodies by smoking, but what about those of us around smokers who have to breath in their acrid, foul smelling expelled air? What about my freedom of choice not to breath in other people's smoke?
The ideal solution would be to ban smoking altogether or raise the prices to exorbitant rates. Let's have an end to those sad little huddles of people outside offices and shops in the pouring rain just for a drag!!!
S, UK

A large proportion of smokers (including me) start during adolescence. Most know full well what the health risks are, but it's too long-term to matter to a teenager. Something that I didn't know at the time, but that might have made me think twice is this: IF YOU START SMOKING, YOU SMELL BAD UNTIL YOU GIVE UP FOR GOOD. How about a campaign to 'sniff out the smokers'?
Lee Bailey, UK

To us non-medical types, even healthy hearts and lungs look pretty gruesome. I don't know we're equipped to distinguish tobacco damage so that we're suitably shocked by it.
Anne Bryson, UK

No individual loses anything from such a campaign so why are so many people resenting it?
Shamim, UK

I have to say that the only reason I am an anti-smoking fascist is because I saw my beloved grandfather die of lung cancer. I am also allergic to cigarette smoke and have had several nights out RUINED by other peoples revolting nicotine stink. And I mean RUINED. I have had to leave concerts, clubs and pubs because I can't breathe any more. So, I feel I have good reason to want the disgusting vile habit BANNED.
Sarah,


Even if they didn't stop long-term smokers, the adverts could definitely make young people think twice before starting.

Anon, Scotland
Even if they didn't stop long-term smokers, the adverts could definitely make young people think twice before starting. Two things come to my mind. First is the shock effect is I presume more directed at stopping people from taking up smoking than getting them to stop, in which case I'm in favour of it. Second, was the point raised by someone earlier of people voluntarily risking injury (skiers, smokers) and the fiscal burden that puts on the rest of the population through the NHS. A valid point to discuss, I'm not in favour of my taxes paying for someone who wrecked their own lungs through smoking, but how about making people who smoke have compulsory personal medical insurance to cover that cost?
Dave, UK

In Thailand we have warnings on how smoking could damage your health written on every pack, but most of the smokers pretend not to see it. I think that images are not going to make much of a difference either. I suggest we offer the smokers a free medical check up. I'm sure the results would stop at least some of them from smoking.
Sorada, Thailand

I have seldom seen such a collection of unpleasant, illiberal opinions than those that have appeared on this page. The anti-smoking campaign must be about the only area where it's acceptable to say, as Sarah does "I am a bit of a fascist". If you're happy to extinguish the rights to smokers, then a lot of other rights and freedoms will be next in line.
Peter, UK

This decision in the context of smoking might be a good one, but it would surely set a dangerous precedent for other products to follow and then what? Where would it stop and where do we draw the line?
Anita Menezes, Canada


Insulting the intelligence of smokers and excluding them does not help them stop. If you are addicted you need help and support to overcome your addiction.

Jen, UK
As a ex smoker, I think many of you have missed the point. Smokers are addicts, seeing pictures doesn't stop the craving. The only way to give up is to truly want to give up and for each smoker there is a different reason; i.e. Cash, Health, Looks etc. Shocking pictures are just another string in the bow of the fight against smoking. May I say though, that insulting the intelligence of smokers and excluding them does not help them stop. If you are addicted you need help and support to overcome your addiction.
Jen, UK

Why are people so keen on stopping people from smoking? We already live in a society where the old are living longer, the population of the world is ever increasing. Smoking acts as an effective method of keeping the population in check while creating taxes for the government, keeping people in employment (NHS workers, tobacco growers etc, the list is endless).
Alex, UK

Graphic images will do nothing to reduce the amount already smoked. However, it may mean fewer people start smoking. Let's restrict the images to the packets themselves, and not subject the rest of us to gory pictures. Let's face it, the rest of us don't smoke because we don't want to waste what precious life we have.
Julian, UK


Let's face it, the rest of us don't smoke because we don't want to waste what precious life we have

Julian, UK
All around us is propaganda "advising" us to stop smoking. On the radio, in the papers, warnings on everything... and now on the TV. People are aware of the dangers, I mean it's not like you can avoid them. If people are determined to give up, they can, dispassion can prompt resistance. It's just a good thing we can change channels....
Mike Campbell, UK

This type of advertising is fair play. Smokers who enjoy smoking and don't want to stop will continue regardless of advertising campaigns. Why would anybody complain about such an advert? Is it because it makes them worry about the damage they could be doing to themselves, or have already done?
Stephen Kirwin, United Kingdom

I think Fraser has hit the nail on the head. If you triple the price and cut to a third the number of smokers then everyone wins. Fewer smokers but the same revenue to the treasury. The only losers are the fag companies.
Nick, The Netherlands

There will of course be significant protest and probably legal action by the tobacco companies, but whether it happens on the government schedule remains to be seen. I would prefer to see action by all provinces and governments that mirrors recent B.C. legislation banning smoking in any place where some one is working. Any public building should post its property as no smoking within as large a radius as feasible. The only smoking room any business should allow near it should be outside at 40 below it will at least make for a few very short smoke breaks.
Stephen Decarie, Canada


My dear country would do better by spending its $6-billion in Tobacco tax revenue on a public health programme to stop smoking.

K.C. Gustafson, Canada
Nasty photos of diseased body parts! Who cares. My dear country would do better by spending its $6-billion in Tobacco tax revenue on a public health programme to stop smoking. One might suggest that with revenues like that it was the finance minister who started this farcical anti-smoking ploy....
K.C. Gustafson, Canada

I agree with the Canadian government. If the photos on packets of cigarettes can make just one man give up smoking, it is already worth it. Here in Brazil we have companies making good profits selling methods for those who intend to give up smoking. And we know that those methods don't work. So, why not use the photos?
Waldir Ribeiro Dias, Brazil

Unfortunately people who choose to smoke have ignored the advice given by people who see the horrific results of smoking everyday. For those smokers words are not enough. They must be shown the results of smoking on their bodies. This is the thinking behind the campaign. Let us hope it has some impact on smokers. If educating smokers does not work. Then at some point more direct measures may have to be considered.
Alan, USA


Smoking should be illegal just like drugs...after all it causes more deaths than drugs each year and is just as addictive.

Vivien Cooksley, Cyprus
Yes but it is not enough. Smoking should be illegal just like drugs...after all it causes more deaths than drugs each year and is just as addictive. What is more it damages the health of the people around the smoker as well.
The argument that smokers should be free to choose is invalid... Their irresponsibility costs the governments (NHS) and other tax-payers a lot of money. Your freedom must stop where other people's freedom starts.
Vivien Cooksley, Cyprus

During the thirty years that I smoked I never saw a picture of a diseased lung, I wish I would have, then maybe I would have quit sooner. I quit two years ago, and I'm so proud of myself
Andrew, USA

As a Canadian I think it odd that the government is taking this step now while still collecting almost half the price of a pack of cigarettes in "sin tax". Also several years ago the amount of tax on cigarettes was raised substantially (granted not to encourage people to quit): there was such a hue and cry that the government quickly withdrew the extra tax. As an ex-smoker I say hit them in their wallets and use the tax for our ailing health system!
Everlyn, Canada

It is another effort to control the consumption of smoking. Therefore it is acceptable. If a person can see a heart the way the person's heart may become, it can make the person think if he/she values their lives. The person will ask himself/herself questions such as: What am I doing to my body? Am I a murderer? Am I another victim of smoking? Can I be brave enough to stop it?
Selena, Hong Kong

If I was in government and I was given the job of getting people to stop smoking, I would do one thing - TRIPLE the price of a packet of cigarettes and really make people have a good reason to stop. And I'd put the money to good use, improving the health service and education. People who are stupid enough to smoke and spoil the life they were given along with many other lives too, deserve to be taxed to the hilt, in my opinion.
Fraser Boyd, Scotland

As an ex-pat, I'm amazed by how cheap cigarettes are here. I believe smokers should pay for the additional health care they need. The only way that smoking will cease is when there are no NEW smokers. We need to convince the next generation that smoking is DUMB. As long as kids think it's cool and mature, the tobacco giants will continue to make millions. If these shock images work -- great, if they don't then they'll stop. we must try everything possible.
Andy B USA

These ads are about making smokers face up to the reality of what they are doing to themselves - that has to be a good thing. I do agree with the guy from Cairo who says it's a little hypocritical of governments to produce this sort of advertising while still permitting us to poison ourselves. Incidentally, I am a 10 a day smoker.
AB, UK

Knowing something is labelled 'bad' is a sure-fire way of hooking the rebellious teenager. How about just raising the minimum age one year every year? That way the existing addicts can kill themselves, but no new victims are hooked.
John Borda, UK

I think the prospect is disgraceful. Many were quick to attack the Benetton ads featuring a newborn baby, but the thought of graphic imagery to 'put people off' from smoking is acceptable? I think not. This new concept in refraining people from smoking will merely offend and disgust. If a person wishes to buy a packet of cigarettes, is it within the right of health officials to plaster graphic imagery over the front in order to shock? I believe there are more tactful and mature ways of preventing people from smoking should they wish to do so!
Ben, UK

No Way, As a non-smoking Canadian, I don't want to view images of body parts when I walk the streets and see discarded packages. If smoking is so bad than just ban it!
Stephen, Canada


Governments as ever wish to have it both ways: to continue to reap the ever-fruitful fiscal harvest from smokers, and yet to be seen to be doing something to stamp out this threat to society.

Michael Deman, Cairo
Governments as ever wish to have it both ways: to continue to reap the ever-fruitful fiscal harvest from smokers, and yet to be seen to be doing something to stamp out this threat to society. For the record, I have kicked a 4 packet/day habit after 25 years of smoking, some 18 months ago. But I remain one who believes that civil liberty includes the right to do things to oneself which are possibly, probably, harmful to one's own well-being.
Michael Deman, Cairo

He who runs reads only the brand name. The more noticeable the ad, the more are reminded of the brand, and the myth that they are addicted.
David de Vere Webb, UK

Without photographic evidence it is easy to kid ones self into believing no serious damage is being done. Being confronted with the photographic facts would certainly hasten the end of my own love-hate relationship with cigarettes. This Canadian Government campaign will eventually strike a chord with even the most avid smoker. Way to go Canada!
Mary Evans, USA


Shock warnings like those in Canada will not work. It is just another symbolic attempt to battle a "problem" in their country.

Ken Moffitt, North Carolina - USA
Shock warnings like those in Canada will not work. It is just another symbolic attempt to battle a "problem" in their country. It makes for good press but will have little effect on smoking in Canada. People will soon become desensitised to them and pay them no attention. Those who smoke and those who may yet begin smoking are aware of the health risks. Let them do as they please.
Ken Moffitt, North Carolina - USA

Probably not! If smokers are not intelligent enough to quit with all the information now available today, they basically lack the will to quit. How then, do you educate an idiot?
Frank Kulhanek, USA

Good health is not a concern for smokers, so pretty little printed warnings are useless. Give them a picture of a mouth full of disgusting, brown, smoke-stained teeth, however, and most people all of a sudden see a tangible reason to kick the habit.
C.C., Canada

If it saves one life it will be worth the effort.
D H, Canada

I think it's ridiculous. People are today well aware of the dangers of smoking. What's next - photographs of blocked arteries on fast food containers?
Mark Aloisio, Malta


There is such a thing as freedom of choice, and as long as such freedoms exist I shall merrily shorten my life in any way I see fit.

Don Bronson, UK
Yeah yeah yeah, heard it before, seen it before.
I object to being told "facts" by a bunch of hypocrites who rake in the money hand over fist, whilst telling people to give up. The NHS argument is spurious in the extreme, that the over-stretched NHS would not be under such strain if it weren't for smokers and drinkers etc.
There is such a thing as freedom of choice, and as long as such freedoms exist I shall merrily shorten my life in any way I see fit.
Don Bronson, UK

I have recently given up smoking but only because I was determined to do so - I have in the past looked at pictures of diseased lungs and hearts, and it did shock me enough to think about giving up more seriously ... I say the more images of suffering and diseases caused by smoking put on cigarette packs, the better! And there should be the same kind of advertising on billboards, and in the press!
Stephen Dent, London, UK

I am a rather heavy smoker but absolutely do not mind any government putting any signs and horror pictures on the packs. I am fully aware of the consequences and disadvantages of smoking but it is my personal decision and I only can decide for myself whether to quit or not.
The warnings are part of education and may be effective for kids and non-smokers to keep them off the habit. That teaching right I will allow to any government. But try to prohibit it or limit it in any other way and I would do everything in my power to counter such action.
Mikko Toivonen, Finland

There isn't a person alive who does not know the adverse effects of smoking. These "shock tactics" are a waste of time. The aim should be to prohibit smoking in all public places to protect the rights of the non-smoker. Those who choose to smoke know the risks. I thank them for the valuable revenue they generate in taxation (reducing my tax bill). They even save the NHS and country money as they die early, reducing the burden on the pension budget. Keep smoking please - you're doing it for your country!
Vernon Bigg, UK

Although not smoking myself, I have many friends who do and socially it poses me no problems. However, whilst the government receives much revenue from the tax imposed on cigarettes, they also pay out a huge quantity of tax payers money (many of whom do not smoke) to the NHS to care for smokers when they are suffering from Emphysema, Lung Cancer or one of the many other diseases medically and statistically linked to smoking. Surely the paternal state owes a duty to discourage this unfair burden however it can.
SK, UK

As someone who smoked for 8 years, and just recently quit: Although the adds had an impact - more guilt than anything - the choice to quit was simply my choice.
Michelle, Canada


As a smoker who's trying to give up I think the adverts should be as shocking as possible.

John Livesey, England
As a smoker who's trying to give up I think the adverts should be as shocking as possible. Many people are oblivious to the real damage smoking does and the facts should be brought home to them in a hard hitting way as possible. Banning all tobacco adverts would help a great deal too.
John Livesey, England

I think this is an excellent idea and should be adopted in this country. I believe people should not turn a blind eye to the effects of smoking. I don't believe that using these images are scare tactics since scare tactics implies that the 'bad' thing shown is not likely to happen. But many smokers do suffer these problems so by displaying images of cancerous lungs you are educating smokers to the effects smoking has.
Keith Harrison, Scotland

Absolutely not! I am not a smoker and every time I see one of those ads, it causes me anxiety. It is practically harassing to be submitted to pictures like that and I wouldn't be surprised if there are consumer lawsuits.
Smoking may kill, but anxiety does too. What a disrespectful act by a government who unfortunately is getting less and less sensitive.
Dr Aris Paterakis, Canada


I look forward to the pictures of fat cells on snickers bars, dead kidneys on bottles of Budweiser and mutated children on anything containing GM Soya beans.

Simon, USA
I look forward to the pictures of fat cells on snickers bars, dead kidneys on bottles of Budweiser and mutated children on anything containing GM Soya beans. All round, either packaging will have to get a lot bigger and less pleasant to look at or governments might have to accept that people are responsible for their own actions. The scary thing is that I'm not sure which is most likely.
Simon, USA

I smoked for 16 years and only gave up when I finally wanted to. Endless warnings on (very expensive) cigarette packets did not put me off. Spend the money on educating children not to take up this addictive habit (show them the gory details they are planning to put on cigarette packets). Smoking has become the epidemic of our era and this killer needs to be eradicated.
Elsje Smart, UK

We all know that anything targeted by blatant rhetoric from the government immediately gains status with the youth; pictures of diseased organs on cigarette packets will become the next generation's inside joke, and nothing more.
Elizabeth, USA

What's the point of shock ads? People already know the risks. But how about shock packs? Now there's an idea. A pack of cigarettes that gives you an electrical charge every time you open the pack. That should help people quit!
Simon Chan, UK

Well done Canada. It's a great shame that all public advice campaigns in Britain tend to be of the 'Janet and John'- (i.e.) patronising variety rather than giving a message which packs a punch. Smoking is a filthy habit and any ad that makes its impact clear should be welcomed. In Australia they are going to start pointing out that smoking cause impotence!! People must be made fully aware of the consequence of this selfish habit!
Reg Aldermans, UK

Pictures can be ignored, statistics likewise; smokers need active help to conquer a very strong addiction, possibly with subsidised aid for those on low incomes who cannot afford commercial nicotine-replacement products.
Miriam, Ireland

Here on Nova Scotia's South Shore smoking appears endemic. You can go to the local shopping centre and witness smokers standing outside stores, shivering, but puffing away in "minus10 degree" temperatures. If the risk of freezing does not stop the urge to smoke, pictures won't either.
Smoking is an addiction, common sense and graphic photographs will have little effect. The only way to deter smoking is to look at why people start in the first place.
Pat van der Veer, A "Brit" in Atlantic Canada


The picture of gory lungs will have to eventually give way to even more horrific imagery sooner or later.

Michael Rowland, USA
The Canadian government's proposal to place shocking images of cancer-ridden lungs on cigarette packets can already be judged a success. The very fact that it has garnered so much news attention is a PR windfall that is having an immediate effect on public consciousness about smoking.
Over the long term, we can expect that people will become anaesthetised to the sight of gory images on cigarette packets. In America, the Surgeon General's warning (all words) was once thought to be shocking, and indeed smoking rates declined. But a generation later, the warning is now an expected design element that is invisible to young would-be smokers. Smoking rates among teenagers are on the rise today, after years of decline.
The lesson is that for the anti-smoking message to get through to the next generation, one must continually turn up the provocation dial. The picture of gory lungs will have to eventually give way to even more horrific imagery sooner or later.
Michael Rowland, USA

I have recently given up smoking. I've been clean for 3 weeks! I know first hand, as many people do, that to give up smoking, you first really have to want it more than anything else. Shock tactics are no way to get hardened smokers to quit, it makes them more determined to carry on in many cases. Someone mentioned drink-driving shock-tactics. Well there is still a hard core of drinkers, aged 50-65 who cannot be reached by these shock adverts, just like hard core smokers will never be reached by shock tactics. Concentrate instead on preventing young people from becoming smokers in the first place, it's the only way to beat the tobacco companies. After all, when asked the question 'if you could go back in time, would you still have that first fag' to smokers, do they not all say, 'no way'?
Sam O'Regan, Scotland

Do we ban people who brake their leg skiing from using the NHS. They too are aware of the risks and dangers involved.
Stuart J Howard, UK

Yes, shock ads are acceptable, as it is an effective and fair way of tackling we smokers to live, and kick the habit.
Watts Roba Gibia Nyirigwa, South Sudan

I think that any way of stopping people smoking is good. If this is going to make at least one person give up then it will have been worth it.
John Sterling, England

Dramatic adverts showing horrific road accidents as a result of drink driving have proven themselves as a deterrent. Why shouldn't a similar attitude be adopted on this issue? Surely the primary obligation of the health regulatory body is to dissuade people from smoking, not to shield them from the known truth, for fear of upsetting their sensibilities.
SS, UK

I think it may act subconsciously as an incentive to stop smoking. If every time you reach for a cigarette you are presented with the effects of smoking a mental association will form. After a while your brain will naturally link the two and when you spark up any cigarette you may well find yourself involuntarily picturing a pair of diseased lungs! It'll make it harder for smokers to experience the pleasure of a cigarette without considering the damage they are doing to themselves.
Tim Smith, UK

I believe that shock ads could work if the image was graphic enough to portray serious health risks. Many people ignore smoking ads and laugh it off but if a diseased heart and lungs were shown it might make the smoker think that they are doing themselves more harm than good. Smoking is self inflicted killing.
Suzanne, UK


They can put what they like on a pack of cigarettes - committed smokers will continue to smoke.

Tom, Australia
They can put what they like on a pack of cigarettes - committed smokers will continue to smoke. In Australia they successfully marketed a cigarette called "Death" complete with a picture of a skull and crossbones. If governments were serious they would ban the sale of tobacco. Instead, they just want the revenue and a section of the community that will serve as a pariah group, a safety valve for people to target their frustration at. Emissions from cars are killing the planet, but we mustn't mention them must we
Tom, Australia

Shock ads are the next obvious step. They have had to be introduced in "Don't drink & drive" campaigns, and as smoking kills and harms many more people each year, they are surely necessary. Both my parents smoke and the effect on their health is obvious. I love them very much and to see them harming themselves so badly really upsets me. I don't know whether the graphic images of diseased lungs will stop them smoking, but I definitely think it's worth a try. More importantly perhaps, it might act as a deterrent to people from starting smoking at all.
Helen Spriggs, UK

It can stop beginners, probably. But for the "professional-smokers"... I am afraid, it will not have a great effect.
Sanjar Obidjon Ogli, Uzbekistan

Since coming to Canada six months ago I have noticed many Canadians loath smokers. I'm trying to give up myself and if this new scheme helps my I'll be delighted.
Mr M Allen, Canada


Smokers will look at the ads, feel a shiver of death run through their spines, and then light up to calm their fears.

TJ, England
No. Smokers will look at the ads, feel a shiver of death run through their spines, and then light up to calm their fears.
TJ, England

OK, so the government makes huge revenue from the taxation of tobacco. Where are they going to get the money from if nobody smokes.Thin Air ??

Smokers know the risks, concentrate on educating the kids and not the adults who probably should know better.
Anon, UK

Yes, definitely it will make an impact on the smokers and is a good way to say "Stop smoking for your own good". Meher
Meher, India

Anything that encourages people to give up this habit can only be good. At present we have the glamorous images portrayed in the movies. The reality needs to be more readily demonstrated.
Philip Levy, UK


Why just victimise the smokers? Lots of things are potentially harmful.

RT, UK
Why just victimise the smokers? Lots of things are potentially harmful. So why not advertise beer and spirits from a drying-out clinic or accident & emergency wards, maybe force car commercials to show smashed-up bloody victims, spotty people to advertise chocolate, obese individuals to market fast food, skin cancer patients advertising summer holidays... the list is potentially endless.
RT, UK

ABSOLUTELY! I am a bit of an anti-smoking fascist, I hate the habit, I hate the damage it does, and I hate the stink of other people's nicotine as I'm going about my business! If disgusting adverts put people off their revolting, unhealthy habit (a drain on the already overburdened NHS) then personally I am all for it.
Sarah

With all the information and publicity already available on the damage done by smoking, the facts are clearly known. People that carry on smoking are unlikely to be influenced by any rational argument, even in shocking detail, like these Canadian ads. If governments were really serious about the effects of smoking, they would either make it illegal, or fund clinics that would help people to quit. However, we know that many governments are making too much money from the tax on sales to ever do anything really serious about the problem.
Andrew Dowle, UK

I think that people who are stupid enough to smoke in this day and age (with all the public awarness of the dangers) are beyond deliverance. Just as long as they are banned from using the NHS for smoke related ilness then why bother!
PP, UK

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

20 Jan 00 | Americas
Shock treatment for Canada's smokers
15 Oct 99 | Medical notes
Smoking: The health effects
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Links to other Talking Point stories