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Coughs and Sneezes


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Director Richard Massingham
Duration 1min 25sec
Release Date 1945
Sponsor Ministry of Information for Ministry of Health
Synopsis Amusing health propaganda trailer on the dangers of sneezing
Text version of this film



The century between the first Public Health Act of 1848 and the start of the NHS in 1948 has been regarded as the golden age of public health. Coughs and Sneezes (1945), Modern Guide to Health (1947) and Jet Propelled Germs (1948) are three of the most amusing public health campaign films in the immediate post-war era.

Often a filmic extension of wartime posters featuring rhyming slogans, the publicity was designed to show how thoughtlessness helps to spread not only the common cold, but also many other diseases. Indeed, the whole 'coughs and sneezes' campaign, which extended beyond the war, was far more to with fighting absenteeism than concern about people catching a cold.

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