France - anti-smoking shock ad aimed at teens..

February 24, 2010 - PARIS: A SHOCK anti-smoking campaign showing teenagers in a submissive position with a cigarette between their lips has outraged child welfare groups and ministers. Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot has described the new series of ads as "inappropriate" and Family Minister Nadine Morano has called for them to be banned on public taste grounds.

Each of the three ads shows a teenager on their knees with a cigarette between their lips, at a man's waist height, looking submissively into his eyes. It comes with the slogan: "Smoking makes you a slave to tobacco." An anti-smoking campaign showing teenagers in a pose suggesting fellatio with a cigarette has caused an uproar in France, with critics arguing it plays down sexual abuse and distracts from real health threats.

The ad, sponsors, the Association for Nonsmokers' Rights said the posters showed neither rape nor abuse, but were meant to create a shock effect and have an impact on young smokers that more traditional campaigns lacked. It plans to publish the ads in newspapers and bars.

Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot told RTL: "Anti-smoking ads are allowed to shock - I don't have a problem with that - but there are better ways of doing it than this."

France has long battled teenage smoking. Despite a 2008 ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places and efforts to crack down on those who sell cigarettes to minors, the habit remains prevalent among the country's youth. Fully one-third of 17-year-olds here smoke, according to a recent study by the French Watchdog of Drugs and Addictions.

References: Calls for ban on anti-smoking, 2/24/2010; French Ad Shocks, but Will It Stop Young Smokers? by STEVEN ERLANGER, The New York Times, 2/23/2010.

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French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect..;
France - cheaper cigarettes close by in Belgium...

A poster from the new campaign by French anti-smoking group, Les Droits des Non-fumeurs (Non-smokers' Rights). the organisation behind the campaign.