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Anti-smoking campaign draws on cigarette ads

The Swiss health authorities have launched their latest anti-smoking campaign which imitates the visual language of the tobacco industry.

The three-year campaign, Stop smoking. Change to SmokeFree., is aimed at encouraging consumers to kick the habit, according to Ursula Koch, head of the prevention unit of the Federal Health Office.

The number of smokers had dropped to 23 per cent of the population by 2007 but is now stagnating, according to Koch, putting Switzerland among the top third in Europe.

The campaigners are using advertisements, leaflets in several languages targeting the immigrant population, trailers in cinemas and on television and information on the internet to spread their message against tobacco use.

“The campaign hopes to boost non smoking as a socially acceptable norm and promises a new kind of freedom,” Pascal Strupler, head of the Health Office explained at a news conference on Monday.

As part of the prevention drive, which will cost SFr9.8 million ($10.2 million,) giveaways which look similar to cigarette packs are handed out.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR