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Government unveils 'disgusting dirty blood' anti-smoking ad

The Government is seeking to emulate the success of its 2013 New Year 'quit smoking' ad, by focusing on how the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes cause "dirty blood".

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Breaking tomorrow (30 December), this latest campaign which is created by Dare, brings to life the "toxic cycle of dirty blood" caused by inhaling the dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes, such as arsenic and cyanide. The TV drive shows how these flow through the body and damage the heart, lungs and cells in the brain after a man takes a drag on a cigarette.

It will be supported by outdoor, including a takeover at one of the walkways at London Bridge Tube station, plus new collateral in pharmacies. 

‘Mutations’, which broke at the same time last year, featured a tumour growing on a cigarette and racked up more than two million YouTube views. The ad, which was also created by Dare, achieved 92% awareness among the public, the highest ever for an anti-smoking spot.

Reflecting on the success of the previous campaign, Public Health England marketing director Sheila Mitchell admitted to being "surprised at the impact". She said the brief for the new work remained the same – "to create disgust rather than shock".

Mitchell said: "The new news we’re using is about the toxins that go into your blood and the damage that is being done to your brain. There is a bit of correlation between smoking and cognitive behaviours.

"We boil it all down to ‘smoking gives you dirty blood’."

This article was first published on

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