Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive
In Poland every third adult smokes, and 90% of smoking parents admit to smoking around their kids. Every year, 70,000 deaths are attributed to smoking.
In November 2009, Poland’s Ministry of Health launched a two-month mass media campaign to inform millions of smokers about the serious effects of tobacco on their health and the health of their children. The “Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive” campaign visually depicts how smoking damages vital organs of the body and causes serious health problems in children exposed to cigarette smoke. The campaign was supported by World Lung Foundation, who provided technical and financial assistance. The campaign also offered smokers help quitting by providing a federal quit line number.
Media activity was strengthened by local events organized around the country under the auspices of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, a division of the MoH responsible for tobacco control.
To evaluate campaign effectiveness, two nationwide surveys were conducted in July and December 2009 by the NGO Health Promotion Foundation, in cooperation with the research agency TNS/OBOP.Of adult smokers who saw the campaign:
• 29% reduced their smoking or made an attempt to quit
• 35% declared their intention to quit within the year
• 5% said they stopped smoking over that period
• There was an increase in the percentage of respondents who knew that smoking in the presence of children causes asthma (from 64% to 78%) and serious diseases (from 77% to 85%)
• The proportion of adults who thought that smoking causes stroke in smokers increased from 56% to 67%
• During the campaign, the number of quit line calls doubled compared to the same period the year before (image below)