A young Perth mum who featured in Make Smoking History's 2017 From Every Quitter campaign, is urging the community to support other smokers who want to give up during these challenging times, after saving more than $32,000 in the three years since the advertisements went to air.
Byford mum, Levi Montgomery, said while it was hard to stop smoking, she is so proud of herself and so thankful to all the support she received during her quitting journey.
"I had been smoking for 18 years before I quit," Ms Montgomery said.
"I had two young children, but we would never have any money for day trips as I would need to keep money for cigarettes.
"One day my four year old daughter said to me, 'stop smoking Mummy or you will die' and that was enough for me.
"I responded to a call out from the Make Smoking History team who were looking for real smokers who wanted to take part in their advertisements. Out of 100 people who responded, I was one of the 12 smokers who were chosen to feature in the campaign.
"I quit after the filming, before the ads went to air and haven't had another cigarette since.
"It's been three years since I featured in the advertisements and since then have saved so much money. We now have money for day trips to the zoo, movies, weekends away in the caravan; we are always out somewhere."
Ms Montgomery has since gone on to have another baby.
"Those newborn cuddles are so much better when you're smoke free," she said.
"I urge people to use the support and help from Cancer Council WA and Make Smoking History to quit smoking, particularly during these challenging times."
Cancer Council WA, Make Smoking History Manager, Libby Jardine, said the 2017 From Every Quitter will be re-aired after some editing to include messaging about helping each other quit during COVID-19.
"The original campaign was created after Make Smoking History found that being around other people who smoke is a major barrier to quitting," Ms Jardine said.
"We have decided to air the campaign again as many people have been spending more time at home. This could mean they're spending more time with other smokers or on a positive note, it might have created an opportunity to distance themselves from people and places they usually associate with smoking.
"We know that smoking can put you at greater risk of getting chest infections and influenza, and emerging evidence suggests that smoking can be a significant risk factor for more severe symptoms of COVID-19; this is largely because COVID-19 affects our lungs.
"There is also evidence that if you have other health conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer, you are more likely to experience severe complications of COVID-19, and smoking can increase the risk of many of these conditions."
Ms Jardine said the message to stop smoking is not new, but it's more relevant and important now, than ever.
"We are spending more time at home with our loved ones than ever, making quitting and not smoking around them even more important than before. Having access to your immediate family can also provide greater support to quit," she said.
"Quitting smoking has the potential to be life-changing, now more than ever. If you smoke, we urge you to use this time as incentive to stop once and for all."
The State-wide campaign will run from June 14 until 8 August.
To view the advertisements:
To access support through a quit attempt:
Contact the Quitline
- Call the Quitline on 13 7848,
- chat online at quitlinewa.org.au or
- request a call back by texting 0477 765 007
Download MyQuitBuddy app
Visit the Make Smoking History website
Seek advice and support from your GP, Aboriginal Health Worker, Telehealth service or pharmacist