AMV BBDO released a film to show the impossible choice that will have to be made if Stop Smoking Services are cut – who gets help, and who doesn’t.
As over £200million has been slashed from public health funding (with more cuts to come), Stop Smoking Services are at serious risk. This could mean that fewer smokers have access to one of the most effective ways to give up smoking. Local authorities may have the difficult decision of deciding who to help and who will be left out. The film shows ordinary people being put in that position, and having to make the impossible choice themselves.
Nicholas Hulley from AMV BBDO said: “We wanted to show the reality of having to make this impossible decision. We put it to ordinary people to make the choice for those they care about; the film shows the dilemma they face.”
The film is part of Cancer Research UK’s Big Tobacco Cough Up Campaign that is calling on people to sign a petition to make the tobacco industry pay for the damage it causes.
The petition calls for a levy to be imposed by the government, so that the tobacco industry uses some of its profits to keep Stop Smoking Services open, and funds campaigns to help people quit. With every signature, the pressure will build on the Government to introduce this levy.
Smokers who use the services are around three times more likely to quit and lead a longer, fitter life. This also reduces the long term pressure on the NHS.
We invited a series of families and friendship groups to discuss their options for stopping smoking. Each family or group had at least two smokers who actively wanted to quit, and were searching for help and advice.
We filmed their experience, and their reaction to the reality which faced them: only one of them would be offered help to quit, leaving one smoker facing the unlikely odds of succeeding in giving up unaided.
It was a decision they struggled with. When we explained about the Big Tobacco Cough Up petition, every single person we spoke with was in favour. Part of the tobacco industry’s huge profits should be put towards keeping services available.
The Government can pass a law to force tobacco companies to pay for the damage they cause. This means the Government would charge them around 1p per cigarette they sell in the UK, to raise an extra £500m to invest into public health services and advertising campaigns that could help more of the two thirds of smokers who want to quit ditch the habit for good.