Bangkok 'Smoking Kid' lights up Internet with quit message

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A child casually approaches an office worker on a cigarette break.

‘Can I get a light?’ asks the boy. ‘Don't you want to live and play?’ comes the shocked reply.

The scene is part of a Thai anti-smoking ad that has gone viral since hitting the Internet last week, jolting some of Thailand's 13 million smokers to think about kicking the habit.

"You worry about me. But why not about yourself?" says a brochure handed out by the kids at the end of each exchange.

The ad uses children to 'trick' unsuspecting smokers in the streets of Bangkok into telling them how bad smoking is, and may prove more effective than shock campaigns used in the West or the cigarette packets sold in Thailand that come with gruesome images of advanced mouth, lung and throat cancer.

'Smoking Kid', created by Ogilvy Asia, has seen over 580,000 hits since it was posted on video-sharing website YouTube last week.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sabd1SbyLgQ)

The national ‘quit smoking’ hot line has had a 40 per cent rise in calls since it went up.

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