Cigarette advert withdrawn: Colin Brown and Liz Hunt report on moves in the campaign to ban tobacco advertising

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An award-winning cigarette advertisement was withdrawn yesterday, as Sir Richard warned that advertising may be to blame for more than 140,000 eventual deaths in teenagers who took up smoking in the past 10 years.

Although it did not accept claims in a Health Education Authority report, Imperial Tobacco said that it would drop its successful 'Reg' campaign for Embassy Regal cigarettes in the north of England, following complaints from health campaigners that it was influencing children.

The HEA report claimed the advertisement was noted by 91 per cent of children and only 49 per cent of adults. The Advertising Standards Authority neither upheld nor rejected the complaint, but asked the company to withdraw it.