BHF steps up anti-smoking drive

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has pledged ‘aggressive’ PR work to support its government-backed publicity blitz to cut smoking.

The charity is aiming to raise awareness of the damage cigarettes cause to arteries via its ‘Give Up Before You Clog Up’ campaign, the TV and newspaper advertising for which is running throughout January.

BHF director of marketing and communications Betty McBride said the PR team planned to ‘drip feed’ statistics to journalists on the damage caused by smoking to arteries.

McBride said the PR campaign would move on to raise awareness of the dangers of passive smoking from around May. Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have heart attacks, according to the BHF.

The TV and newspaper ads show fatty goo oozing out of cigarettes. Explaining the shock tactics, McBride said: ‘The Barnado’s of this world have been highly successful [with such tactics]. Clogged arteries are the reality of what happens when you smoke.’

The £4m campaign is funded by the Department of Health, which last year gave £7.5m to the BHF and Cancer Research UK to spend on anti-smoking initiatives.

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