A DRAMATIC street performance has highlighted the devastating impact that smoking and tobacco industry tactics have on smokers and their families.

Twelve dancers and a street poet staged an anti-tobacco rap titled ‘Last Man Standing’ at Riverside College.

The drama finished with a sinister twist as half the performers ‘died’ during the piece, falling to the ground. The finale highlighted the stark fact that half of all long-term smokers will die from their addiction.

It coincided with the international conference on urban health, which was hosted in Manchester and saw world renowned health professionals attending, including the US Secretary for Health, Dr Howard Koh.

The performance, which was filmed, will be promoted to young people online as part of a 60 second viral campaign, and will help increase understanding of the tactics the tobacco industry use to recruit new young smokers. Other performances took place across the north west.

Andrea Crossfield, chief executive of Tobacco Free Futures, said: “We do everything we can to turn off this tap of new smokers in Halton.

“This street performance was not only be seen by people on the day, but by thousands of young people online.

"The majority of adult smokers start when they are children. Tobacco companies need to replace the one in two customers who die from their addiction to tobacco, and they spend a lot of time and money targeting young people because they have potential to be customers for life.”