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Talking Point: Can this cartoon dog steer people from cocaine?

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A top drug researcher from Kent says only a change in social culture will stop the use of cocaine.

The comments from Dr Alex Stevens - a senior research fellow on drug policy at the University of Kent - came on the day a major television and internet ad campaign was launched to raise awareness of the dangers of taking the Class A drug.

• Watch the advert above and judge for yourself.

The adverts, which are aimed at teenagers, feature Pablo, a cartoon dog who died when he was unknowingly used as a drugs mule for smuggling cocaine.

Voiced by David Mitchell, Pablo goes out looking for users of the drug to find out more about its risks.

But Dr Stevens is unsure about the potential impact of a single media campaign. He said: "The evidence suggests they don't have an effect in reducing the use of drugs.

"It's very difficult to stop people taking drugs by telling them how dangerous they are - but they might have an effect in helping people be aware of the dangers they are running when they take them."

~ Audio: Hear more of Dr Stevens's views >>>

• What do you think - would a talking dog convince you to avoid cocaine? Or are the adverts likely to make no difference?Vote in our poll at the bottom of this page and send us your views via the 'Make a comment' tab below.

Use of cocaine has doubled in the past 10 years according to the British Crime Survey, and only a few months ago 19-year-old Gravesend girl Haniska Pett died after taking the drug.

The Government is hoping the new campaign will stop the younger generation from experimenting with it.

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