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A new image for Birmingham
  1. Paul Hooper
  1. P Hooper, Smoke Free Birmingham, Southern Birmingham Community Health NHS Trust, Springfields Centre for Health Promotion, Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6JB, UK.sfbham{at}

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Birmingham is the United Kingdom’s second largest city and has a population of approximately a million. Since 1985, it has had a prominent role in tobacco control in Britain, initially through the work of Birmingham City Council with its pioneering policies, and then through its collaborative work with various agencies including the Health Authorities and the commercial sector.

For many years, the local tobacco control campaign in Birmingham has been generating its own resources for use within the city. Sometimes this has occurred when a demand for a particular type of resource could not be met by other providers. At other times resources have developed out of other initiatives.

In 1986, when the Birmingham City Council first got involved in tobacco control, it found there was a great demand for clear signs designating areas as being non-smoking. A simple A4 (21×30 cm) vinyl adhesive sticker was developed along with materials for use in restaurants such as front adhesive stickers stating that smoke-free tables were available, and pyramid table signs. The stickers proved to be so popular that I am reliably informed that they can be found in many different countries across the globe, and several organisations have “amended” the sticker by replacing the original logo with their own.

In 1993, with funding from the then West Midlands Regional Health Authority, a multi-agency intersectorial group was formed with specific funding to carry innovative activities with the aim of reducing smoking prevalence. The specific funding and the innovative remit enabled a variety of new resources to be developed, many of which have now been disseminated worldwide.

Body messages

Three of the earlier images were centred on a use of the human body as an art form and message delivery system. It followed collaborative work among the North Birmingham Community Health Trust, the City Council’s Youth …

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