Dying for a smoke.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Dying for a smoke. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


An animated cartoon on smoking and health. The villain, Old Nick O'Teen , disguises himself as an 18-year-old motor cyclist, the better to lure children into the cigarette habit. Fourteen-year-old Sam falls into the trap, but after awesome visions of his future, expert advice from a doctor, and straight talk from a friendly lorry-driver renounces the habit. 1 segment.


UK : Central Office of Information, 1967.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (9.46 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Made by Halas & Batchelor. Produced by the Central Office of Information for the Ministry of Health. Script by Joy Batchelor, directed by John Halas and animated by Terry Harrison, Alan Green and Mike Pocock.


This video was made from material preserved at the BFI National Archive.


Segment 1 Nick is seen driving towards a school, saying that he needs hundreds of new slaves. He disguises himself as a motorcyclist and offers the schoolboys cigarettes. Sam accepts and begins smoking. Sam and his friend are transported to a dingy looking town where everyone, even the animals, smokes. The children realise their fingers and teeth are stained from nicotine. Sam's friend leaves but Sam carries on smoking and joins a chain gang of smokers. In his dreams, he sees a doctor who gives him information about the side effects of smoking. Sam continues to smoke however. Nick digs the smokers an early grave, but Sam is rescued by a lorry driver, who drives him away. The lorry driver points out that smoking costs a lot of money, and Sam agrees to quit. Sam plays various sports with Nick O'Teen and beats him every time. In the end, everyone refuses the cigarettes offered by Nick, who is furious. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:09:46:11 Length: 00:09:46:11



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