Friday 10 October 2014

"Inhale for Britain" (1974)

In the 1970s a government think-tank headed by Scarfolk councillor E. Bernays predicted that 21st century Britain might see a much-increased elderly population. Already faced with a recession, the government decided on a two-pronged solution that would not only reduce the numbers of future senior citizens but also boost the economy.

It strongly encouraged people, especially children, to smoke and then, once addiction had become more widespread, the tax on cigarettes was raised. The short-term plan was to bolster the economy with the tobacco levy and, in the long term, drastically reduce the number of people reaching pensionable age by ensuring they develop fatal, smoking-related illnesses.

To further secure economic stability the government also began slowly dismantling the NHS (Notional Health Service) so that it could not be made financially accountable for any pensioners who accidentally slipped through the net and stubbornly endured.

The poster below from 1974, which was aimed at impoverished children, took advantage of the national pride and sense of 'Britishness' which had been fabricated by an earlier government propaganda campaign intended to control the uneducated.

Find out how this campaign developed with confectionery branded cigarettes.


  1. I've just spent six months in Doha and it's clear that it is building its future on the Scarfolk template. A twinning opportunity perhaps?

  2. I found the idea of children smoking a most beneficial one, the only problem is keeping stopping them going out. Does anyone have any solutions?, maybe vigorous baths in salt peter before igniting may help.

  3. I wholeheartedly back the children smoking campaign. The only problem is keeping them burning, I have found they go out without asking. Does anyone have any solutions, maybe a vigorous salt peter bath would be a solution.