On the Agenda - NHS Ealing aims to shock smokers

- In a nutshell

NHS Ealing launched one of London's most hard-hitting anti-smoking campaigns last Thursday in an attempt to shock people into quitting. Hospital staff are taking to the streets for 40 days and nights, challenging smokers to take a carbon monoxide monitor test. They will then be offered counselling and support to help them give up for good.

- Any opposition to the scheme?

Pro-smoking Group Forest has spoken out, claiming the tactic is an 'outrageous abuse of freedom and privacy'. Forest spokesman Neil Rafferty told the press: 'It shows the authorities think they have a blank cheque to treat smokers how they want - to harass, humiliate and victimise them. It is the health Nazi equivalent of chuggers.'

- What did NHS Ealing have to say?

An NHS Ealing spokesperson defended the campaign and said: 'The campaign aims to offer people help to quit if they want it. If someone says no to a test then there will be no pressure from the Stop Smoking Team, who will simply walk away and try to help someone else.'

- Media coverage

The story has achieved coverage on BBC Breakfast, BBC London, LBC Radio, timesonline.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk and Five's The Wright Stuff.

- Who did the work?

Media relations activity has been carried out by Red Signal. The activity is also part of the hospital's ongoing anti-smoking campaign.

75k - number of smokers in Ealing

90% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco.

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