Government to launch smoking ban campaign

LONDON - The Government is to launch a multi-million pound ad campaign tonight to publicise the date of the smoking ban in England, due to start on July 1.

The 'Smokefree England' campaign, created by Farm, will spend £1m a week to promote the ban date across TV, national press, radio, billboards and the London Underground.

The TV ad depicts a man walking through a variety of locations including a cafe, pub, garage and office. He explains to viewers that smoking will no longer be allowed in enclosed public places and workplaces. The ad ends outdoors in a pub garden.

England is due to go "smokefree" on July 1 which means there will be a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places such as pubs, restaurants and shopping centres.

Research has shown that up to 45% of the public are not aware of the smoking ban date and how it may affect their lives.

Public Health minister Caroline Flint, said: "Our snapshot survey shows that the majority of people know that smokefree legislation is coming, but almost half the population are not aware it comes into effect on July 1.

"The campaign is a reminder to people of the date and gives examples of the range of locations which will be smoke-free. It forms part of a comprehensive communications campaign to make sure that businesses and individuals understand what action they need to take."

A direct mail campaign to 1.7m businesses is also planned. Farm created the last Government anti-smoking campaign which showed dark smoke curling around guests at a wedding reception and aimed to reveal the actual amount of smoke emitted by a single cigarette.