Recent data has shown that mass media anti-smoking campaigns remain an effective tool to help motivate smokers to quit.
Results from our recent survey of 200 Western Australian smokers found that the majority of current smokers are trying to quit or thinking about quitting at the moment.
During the course of our most recent Make Smoking History television campaign, 71% of those wanting to quit had taken action towards giving up for good, with over a quarter of these respondents saying it was because of the advertising campaign.
The research coincides with the launch of our new Make Smoking History campaign, which features Mick, a former smoker who is suffering from emphysema, speaking about himself and the effect emphysema has had on him and his family.
The ‘Meet Mick' series of ads will run in both metropolitan Perth and regional WA and show the negative health effects of smoking are far from exaggerated - and are very real.
Mick said his journey with emphysema has been extremely difficult and terrifying for him and his family.
"I've lost 90% of my lung capacity; I'm only running on one cylinder. You think you're 6 feet tall and bulletproof and that it's not going to happen to me, but it does," he said.
"When we were young we were stupid, we made wrong choices, and we're paying for it now.
"My wife's even said to me, when you can't breathe I've seen the terror in your eyes, and that's terrible for me how I'm feeling, but what about how they're feeling?"
Our Make Smoking History Manager, Kelly Kennington, makes no apology for the hard-hitting nature of the campaign.
"In WA, 9.1% of adults are daily smokers - that's more than 187,000 Western Australians, and the odds are that two thirds of them are likely to die from their smoking if they don't quit.
"That's why campaigns like ‘Meet Mick' are so important," Ms Kennington said.
"The results of our survey show the messages in these campaigns resonate with smokers and their families and are critical to helping motivate an attempt to quit.
"Our message is simple - don't wait until you're as unwell as Mick before you quit. The sooner you do, the better your odds are of not developing emphysema or other life-threatening illnesses," she said.
The advertising campaign runs from today until the end of November.
For more information and support about quitting, visit our Make Smoking History website or give our Cancer Nurses a call on 13 11 20.