'No wonder smokers cough', anti-smoking poster, United Kingdom, 1988

1988 in London
Health Education Authority

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No Wonder Smokers Cough, poster, c 1980s. Produced for the Health Education Council to warn against the dangers of
Enquiries to Science Museum, London. Credit: Health Education Authority (HEA)
Enquiries to Science Museum, London. Credit: Health Education Authority (HEA)

Fold out A2 sized colour poster entitled 'No wonder smokers cough', illustrating 'The tar and discharge that collects in the lungs of an average smoker', issued by the Health Education Authority, London, and printed in 1988, from a 1970's design

Accompanying the line, “No wonder smokers cough” is an iconic image. Tar being poured onto a petri-dish was a well-known image from government-funded anti-smoking campaigns in the UK in the 1970s. The image showed how much tar is built up in an average smoker’s lungs. It proved so effective it was still used a decade later.

Links between smoking and health problems such as lung cancer only began being made with certainty in the 1950s. They came through the research of Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill. However, their views took time to become accepted. The poster was part of a campaign developed by the Health Education Authority in England.


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
  • visual and verbal communication
Health Education Authority

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