Ads for flights, holidays and cars should carry tobacco-style health warnings to combat the public's "addiction" to polluting transport and reduce climate change, a think-tank recommended yesterday.

The Institute for Public Policy Research also said carbon offsetting charges should be included in fares as part of radical efforts to cut CO2 emissions.

As thousands of Britons prepare to travel abroad for Easter breaks, the IPPR said highly visible warnings, such as "Flying Causes Climate Change", could put some people off air travel. Forcing car makers to label new vehicles according to their green credentials and advertising the contribution of driving to climate change could also change behaviour, the report concludes.

Simon Retallack, the IPPR's head of climate change, said: "The evidence that aviation damages the atmosphere is just as clear as the evidence that smoking kills. We know that smokers notice health warnings on cigarettes, and we have to tackle our addiction to flying in the same way.

"But if we are to change people's behaviour, warnings must be accompanied by offering alternatives to short-haul flights and by steps to make the cost of flying better reflect its impact on the environment."