Cancer Council saves ‘Last Dance’ campaign for smokers

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Cancer Council Western Australia has launched an emotional anti-smoking campaign with figures showing two-thirds of deaths in current smokers can be attributed to smoking.

The ‘Last Dance’ depicts a man dying of a smoking-caused disease during a tender moment with his wife as she cares for him during the final stages of his illness.

Cancer Council WA Education and Research Director Terry Slevin said the campaign packs an emotional punch but reflects the fact that there are 250,000 smokers in WA, and 160,000 of them will die due to a smoking-caused disease.

"Over 14,000 West Australians are still dying each year due to smoking so this campaign is a powerful reminder for smokers that your smoking doesn’t just affect you, it affects your family too,” Mr Slevin said.

A new report revealed this week that smoking is still responsible for almost one tenth of the total burden of disease and injury in Australian in 2011, almost double the next major risk factor.

Mr Slevin said more frighteningly, smoking accounts for 22% of all cancers, including 80% of lung cancers.

Gino Sorella, whose grandfather died from lung cancer and father suffers from a smoking-caused illness, said he wants smokers to think about the grief they would cause their families if they continue to smoke.

“I have my own family now. I want to make sure I’m around for all the amazing things that will happen.

“Smoking robbed me of my grandfather, and has had a severe impact of the health of my father. I’m determined not to let it rob my son of his father,” Gino said.

Mr Slevin said Cancer Council recognises the campaign is confronting but said so are the statistics.

“People sometimes ask us “why do you keep doing these campaigns?  Hasn’t smoking been fixed?” The answer is NO!

“Do you really need to pull the heart strings?” Answer –“yes, if it works…” and it does,” Mr Slevin said.

The ads will run until the end of June.


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