Philip Morris to launch anti-tobacco campaign

- Philip Morris is set to launch a $100 million (£60 million) ad campaign to discourage children from smoking.

- Philip Morris is set to launch a $100 million (£60 million) ad campaign to discourage children from smoking.

The campaign kicks off on Monday, putting the tobacco giant's name on television in the US for the first time since cigarette advertising was banned in 1971.

The $100 million campaign is an amount comparable to what Philip Morris spends advertising its best-selling Marlboro brand in the US.

Philip Morris spokeswoman, Ellen Merlo, said the company would spend more than $100 million over the next year to help prevent youth smoking. The anti-smoking campaign includes support for community groups and educational programmes.

The first ad carries the line "Think. Don't Smoke'" and targets children between 10 and 14 years old. The ad will air across most major US TV networks including ABC and Fox. NBC, however, has refused to carry the ads.

Three ads show groups of kids getting on a bus, gathered at school and lounging on an outdoor stairway, talking about why they don't smoke.

"I don't need to smoke to prove myself," one girl says. "My coolness is not on trial here." A boy in another ad says "We don't have to smoke to be different. Being ourselves is enough."

The surgeon general's warning against smoking which appears on printed ads and cigarette packs is superimposed over part of each ad, and the last frame carries the Philip Morris name.

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