The Department of Health (DoH) has appointed Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw to handle its consumer communications, while the business account has gone to Partners Andrews Aldridge.
Earlier this month, health secretary Patricia Hewitt announced that the smoking ban, which will prohibit smoking in all enclosed public places, would come into effect on 1 July next year.
The DoH will spend an estimated £10m publicising the legislation. The consumer activity kicks off in March with a campaign focusing on the dangers of inhaling secondary smoke. The work has been created by Farm, with media through Mediaedge:cia (Marketing, 6 December).
The campaign website will be handled by digital agency Profero, which has already created the NHS Smokefree England site.
England will be the last of the home nations to legislate against smoking in public places: it was banned in Scotland in March and will be forbidden in Northern Ireland and Wales from next April.
Cancer Research UK has urged the NHS in England to ensure it meets the needs of smokers, predicting a rise in the number of smokers trying to quit. It cited a rise in the numbers trying to quit in Scotland prior to the ban coming into force there.