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Volume 87: debated on Wednesday 27 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what specific research programmes have been carried out by his Department for the preparation of the advertising campaign which he intends to initiate to discourage youngsters from smoking.

The campaign, which will be tested for a year in two television regions, is based on three pieces of research: a survey starting in May 1984 to establish ways of reaching teenagers with anti-smoking messages, a project commencing in February 1985 aimed at investigating the potential of media advertising for this purpose, and qualitative research on the effectiveness of particular creative approaches undertaken in July and August by the advertising agency appointed to run the campaign.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the policy objectives underlying his Department's funding of (a) Action on Smoking and Health and (b) the Health Education Council.

The Department provides financial assistance to Action on Smoking and Health in support of its efforts to increase public awareness of the dangers of smoking. The Health Education Council, which is largely financed by Government grant, was established to promote and coordinate health education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In pursuit of its objective the council initiates and supports health education campaigns through the National Health Service, the education service, the media and in other ways, produces health education materials, supports professional training programmes and sponsors appropriate research.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what grant is currently paid to Action on Smoking and Health; when he will decide on whether a grant will be paid for the next financial year; and what criteria he will be taking into account.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has been allocated a grant of £150,840 in the current financial year. An application for funding in 1986–87 is expected shortly when consideration will be given to such factors as ASH's effectiveness in providing information to the public about smoking and health and the cost-effectiveness of its operations.