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Will pester power beat smoking?

Monday September 14th, 2009

Photo of father smoking in front of sonThe new generation of children is strongly against smoking - and most wish their parents would give up, according to figures published today.

Some 96 per cent of eight to 13 year olds, whose parents smoked, said they wished they would give up, according to a survey of some 1,000 youngsters.

The British government hopes to use "pester power" to persuade adults to give up in a new advertising campaign, hailed as being "powerful".

The campaign will depict real children pleading with their parents to abandon the habit.

The survey found that 91 per cent of children did not think they would every try cigarettes and two thirds would give up pocket money to see their parents give up smoking.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking & Health said: "These powerful new adverts are about tapping into emotions that children of smoking parents are experiencing on a day to day basis."

Public health minister Gillian Merron urged parents to use the NHS stop smoking service.

She said: "I hope this new campaign will give mums and dads the encouragement they need to realise they can do it with help from the NHS, and support from their children.The facts are clear ? every week 2,000 people die from smoking-related diseases, which has a devastating effect on children's lives."

* British health secretary Andy Burnham meanwhile was promoting the benefits of swimming.

Mr Burnham undertook a one-mile open air swim of Lake Windermere in the Lake District of England, taking part in the "Great North Swim".

He also announced that Ella Batchelor, aged 11, from Essex had won a competition for inventing a new swimming stroke by devising the "dolphinella" - based on the movement of a dolphin.

Tags: Child Health | Fitness | General Health | UK News

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