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Smoking and you.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, as long as it is not primarily intended for or directed to commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
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About this work


A film showing the risks of cigarette smoking. The irritant and destructive effect of cigarette smoking on the throat and lungs is shown by diagrams and is dramatically illustrated by the breathless and distressed state of two people who have been heavy smokers. A 'smoking machine' demonstrates the amount of chemicals inhaled, including those which cause cancer; and an animated sequence shows the rise in the volume of cigarette smoking and in the number of deaths from lung cancer since 1910. Unglamorous aspects of smoking and its risk to health are contrasted with physical fitness.


UK : Ministry of Health, 1963.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (10.43 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

A Central Office of Information film for Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Scottish Home and Health and Education Departments. Script and direction by Derrick Knight, photographed by Michael Boultbee, edited by David Gladwell, narrated by Gerald Anderson and produced by Derrick Knight and Partners Ltd.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive.
The clinician is the well-known anti-smoking campaigner, Charles Fletcher (about 4 mins in); he was engaged in research into chronic bronchitis in men at the time.


Segment 1 A football match in a stadium is seen, as well as street scenes. The narrator points out that everywhere, people are smoking. He says, 'these people believe that cigarettes really mean something to them'. More smokers are shown. The narrator describes a cigarette, comparing it to a chimney, and says that people would never consider inhaling the smoke from a chimney. The anatomy of the lungs and the way they are affected by cigarette smoke is explained with the aid of animations. Specimens of healthy and unhealthy lungs are seen. An elderly man lies in a hospital bed; he is clearly having difficulty breathing. This is because he used to be a heavy smoker. A middle-aged man is asked by a doctor to walk up and down a set of wooden steps; he quickly loses his breath and cannot continue. A smoking machine is seen; a scientist lights six cigarettes, which are 'breathed' by artificial lungs. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:11:12 Length: 00:05:11:12
Segment 2 The six 'mouths' of the smoking machine smoke 10 cigarettes each and the glass jars that collect the smoke are analysed. The amount of tar collected is also seen. The narrator explains that cigarette smoke contains 16 chemicals that cause lung cancer. Charts show the increase in cigarette sales between 1910 and 1960, as well as the increase in deaths from lung cancer. A doctor addresses the camera, saying 'cigarettes can kill'. He also shows a lung specimen from a man who died from lung cancer. Young boys and girls are seen smoking, and the doctor says that they are shortening their lives. Teenage girls smoke and apply make up; the narrator says that smoking is not glamorous. Another montage of people smoking is seen. The doctor says that he once smoked but saw the damage it caused his patients, so stopped. A young boy is seen swimming and a man plays the saxophone; the narrator says that people with healthy lungs 'can really enjoy life'. A montage of unhealthy images, including the damaged lung specimen, is seen. End credits. Time start: 00:05:11:12 Time end: 00:10:43:08 Length: 00:05:31:21



  • English

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