Hope you haven’t had breakfast this morning. Or, whichever meal depending on timezone. Public Health England is going after smokers that roll their own cigarettes, warning smoking progressively rots your body’s internal system with every cigarette.
In case the simple words weren’t enough, the advocate group does up a video of a father rolling a cigarette with rotting flesh. Over the top? Absolutely, and smokers advocate groups are slamming the commercial as poisonous and using exaggerated claims.
The reason behind the push to tamp down use of hand rolled cigarettes is their explosion in popularity. Public health officials in the UK have found usage rates jumping since 1990. In male smokers, the figure stood at 18 percent using hand rolled cigarettes in 1990. By 2013, the rate had jumped to 40 percent.
In women, the jump is more stark. In 1990, the figure stood at 2 percent. In 2013, women smokers using hand rolled cigarettes jumped to 23 percent.
Professor Dame Sally Davies has pushed back on the perception that hand rolled cigarettes are somehow safer than traditional cigarettes.
“Significant numbers of smokers are now using roll-ups without realising that gram for gram of tobacco they are just as unsafe as ordinary cigarettes.
“The research we have got suggests that people think it’s safer to smoke a roll-up up but they are wrong, it is not safe. No tobacco is safe and gram for gram it is as harmful as ordinary cigarettes.”
Smoking remains the biggest preventable cause of death in England, claiming 80,000 lives per year. While smoking rates continue to decline, public health officials want to eradicate smoking and are turning to increasingly shocking campaigns to do it.
In addition to the commercial, digital and print billboards will be rolled out featuring a rolled cigarette with rotting flesh. The tagline will read: “Every cigarette rots you from the inside out.”
The hope is that more smokers will use this New Year as a time to make good on the resolution to quit.
“January is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and try to stop smoking. Millions of people have used Smokefree support and we are hoping that this year, even more will take advantage of the free expertise and resources on offer.”
Here’s hoping, because I’m not sure how much further public health can go with ruining everyone’s appetite to get smokers to quit.
Watch the full commercial over at the Telegraph.