Teens Hold The Key To Quitting, Ad Campaign Says

A hard-hitting new Smokefree campaign - 'Worried' - launches today. The ads, aimed at parents who smoke, communicate an uncomfortable message to viewers - that teenage children worry about their parents' future due to the harmful health effects of smoking.

The campaign is supported by new findings which reveal that nearly half (46 per cent) of teenagers are more worried about their parents smoking than anything else, including money, bullying and divorce.

The survey, conducted on behalf of NHS Stop Smoking Services, concludes that teenagers are feeling increasingly responsible for their parents' health with two thirds (65%) worried about their parents' smoking habit. 88% of teenagers say they are concerned about the damage parents are doing to their health by smoking. With nearly 9 in 10 learning about health at school, almost half (43%) claim they understand the risks of smoking better than their parents.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "I hope that these adverts will persuade parents to stop smoking. Smoking results in over 2,000 deaths each week and is the biggest public health challenge this country faces. These new findings should also make parents think twice about the emotional distress their smoking has on their children."

In addition to feeling a burden of responsibility about their families health, parents smoking leads to feelings of frustration and anger, with a third (31%) of teenagers feeling most upset with their parents when they smoke and three quarters (75%) of teenagers ask their parents to stop. But 43% of them feel angry that their parents don't listen to them, a third feel confused (32%) about why they smoke and just under a third (29%) feel frustrated that their parents don't know how bad it is for them.

It is hoped that the adverts, which go live from Monday 23 February, will encourage parents who smoke to consider quitting with the help of local stop smoking services. There are 150 NHS Stop Smoking Services around the country providing advice and assistance to people who want to quit smoking.


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