HC Deb 04 May 1959 vol 605 cc3-4
8. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Health what further action he is taking to publicise the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Local health authorities are continuing to publicise this information as part of their health education arrangements.

Mr. Lipton

Why are the Government not stressing the dangers of smoking? It is clear that they are passing the buck" to local authorities and that the campaign so far has proved a complete fiasco. Is it not the case that more youngsters are beginning to smoke than ever before? What does the Government propose to do about it? Are they afraid of the tobacco manufacturers?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The hon. Gentle-man must not say that the campaign is a fiasco. The object of the campaign is to bring home to people the association between tobacco smoking, cigarette smoking, and lung cancer. So far as I am aware, that association is well within the mind of the public, but, of course, it does necessitate a continuance of the campaign which has already been carried out.

Dr. Summerskill

Would not the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider instituting a propaganda campaign equal in effectiveness to the recent campaign about poliomyelitis? Will he not think about that?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The duty of the Government in this regard is to bring home to the public the association of lung cancer with tobacco smoking and to see that any decision that is made by individual members of the public is made in the light of knowledge of the facts, and we are, through the local authorities, discharging this obligation. As I say, we must continue that campaign so as to keep the knowledge in the public mind.

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