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A proposed campaign to stop teenagers smoking

Updated on June 5, 2012

NHS Stop smoking

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Background

Smoking in the UK is very popular among the population whether its teenagers, adults or the mature generation. Cancer research (“Smoking statistics”, 2009) states that around 10 million adults in the UK smoke and of those 10 million people over 20% of them are teenagers. Not only are they teenagers but they are under the legal age of 18 to even buy cigarettes, yet a study from Cancer Research has found that children as young as 11-12 are considered as regular smokers. Although, this number is less then 1%, the number of 15 year old regarded as regular smokers is 15% a staggering increase which just so happens to coincide with children moving up to secondary school at the age of 11 to 16. The Observer newspaper (“Plans for clamp on teenage smoking”, 2007) released an article which stated that a fifth of teenagers are describe as “regular smokers”, which is a disgustingly high figure.

The risks of smoking are clear and widely known yet adults continue to ignore the risks such as lung cancer, heart disease, reduced life expectancy and impotence. However, it is not only the adults that suffer from smoking people around them like children can be affected even if they do not smoke.

Despite the alarming number of teenagers that smoke the government have not created enough or any campaigns that are directed at young teenagers and children to stop them from starting smoking. The more recent campaigns are more aimed at adults that have been smoking for years and why they should quit smoking.

Target audience

Our target audience for this campaign are teenagers under the age of 18, so teenagers that are smoking illegally. We want to demonstrate and inform them the dangers of smoking and the harm it does to ones body. Our campaign we also show how smoking can harm your appearance because a lot of teenagers will be interested in looking good, what other people think of them and attracting someone of the opposite sex.

How the plan will be carried out?

Our campaign will consist of three main activities; school visits, IPod app and a television advertisement. As we are targeted the under 18 age group the best way to reach them is by going into the secondary schools and holding an assembly about the dangers and risks of smoking. To ensure the messages get across to the pupils we will show them a video which outline the health risks of smoking by showing the damage smoking does on their organs. During the assembly we will also tell them the key facts and statistics. We will also give the pupils the contact details of people who will give them any advice, information and support they may need if they have any questions about smoking. We will also ensure that they are aware of the quit kits which we will hopefully be able to give to the school.

With mobile phones almost a necessity to teenagers today it makes sense that they are able to get hold of information and support from their mobile phone. The popularity of IPhones and IPods means almost everyone has one or the other, because of this we will promote the free NHS application to help people stop smoking. This application will allow the user to keep a track of the number of days they are smoke free, how much money they have saved and give them helpful tips to continue to be smoke free.

Television is also a very useful method of reaching a high number of people, so we have created an idea for an advertisement to be shown by targeting pupils on music channels and after popular shows. In our advertisement a teenage boy is attractive to a girl who is smoking, and as he walks over to her he notices that she has stained teeth and fingernails and she starts to cough violently. As a result of this he is no longer interested in her and walks away, there will then be a caption on screen describing the damage smoking does to your appearance, followed by a helpline telephone number to help people stop smoking.


This is an idea which I feel could help decrease the number of teenagers smoking, what do you think? Do you think there is a problem with teenage smoking? Please tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

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