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The 'HELP - For a life without tobacco' campaign recently visited Santa Claus at his home near the Arctic Circle in Finland.

Please find linked two low-res recordings of this visit hosted on YouTube (uploaded this morning).

Long - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybzyNXFGwVM

Short - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMn6Tp83u98

Santa Claus then returned the favour by taking time out of his busy pre-Christmas schedule to visit Brussels - capital of the European Union.

Whilst in Brussels Santa took the opportunity to take a HELP Carbon Monoxide test and just like last year he came out clean which is what you would expect from a committed non-smoker!

Commenting about the HELP campaign Santa said, “Your health is more valuable than even the most expensive Christmas present. Smoking is harmful to you and to the health of everyone around you so quitting is the best gift you can give.”

The HELP campaign is an initiative of the European Commission in all 27-member states of the European Union. The carbon monoxide tests are carried out at public events to show people the effects of smoking and passive smoking. In 2006, over 75,000 Europeans took the test at one of over 250 events where the HELP stand was present. Another 125,000 people took the CO test in 2007. In 2008, the campaign will be present at even more places and events across Europe.

-ENDS-

Pess Information:

Please contact Niall Dologhan or Naomi van Moppes on 020 8789 2587.

Picture Caption:

Santa Claus undertaking a Carbon Monoxide test on behalf of the 'HELP - For a life without tobacco' campaign in La Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium.

Video Information:

If the video is of interest to you it is possible to download hi-res broadcast quality versions (mpeg-3 and DV-Stream) from the following website:

http://skarvi.pp.fi/HelpEU

The user name is: help
Password (case sensitive): Xmas

About 'HELP - For a life without tobacco':
"HELP" is the second major EU-wide anti-smoking campaign run by the European Commission. The European Commission earmarked €72 million for the campaign between 2005 and 2008. Adolescents (15 to 18 year olds) and young adults (18 to 30 years olds) are the main target groups.

At the outset of the campaign Markos Kyprianou, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: "The sickness and death caused by smoking costs EU countries €100 billion a year. Prevention and information campaigns like "HELP" are an investment in a healthier and more prosperous future for our citizens. As well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles to young people, the campaign also highlights the dangers of passive smoking and supports the trend towards tobacco-free public places."

He continued: "Eight out of ten smokers start in their teenage years. Once hooked, it is a habit that takes many of them to an early grave. Every year, 650,000 EU citizens die from tobacco related disease. I am determined to do everything I can to stop young people taking up smoking, and to help young smokers kick the habit before it ruins their health. I want to see a major shift in our society, where being smoke-free becomes the norm and the smoke-addicted are a dwindling minority."

Press releases, press packs, the logo and pictures of the 'HELP' campaign can be downloaded from the Internet site www.help-eu.com.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Kestrel Worldcom in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Health, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.