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New Make smoking history Sponge campaign

Date posted: 9 February 2016

On Sunday 14 February 2016 Make Smoking History will air the West Australian state-wide campaign Sponge. In the campaign, sponges are used to demonstrate the amount of cancer-producing tar which goes into the lungs of a pack-a-day a smoker over the course of one year. In the commercial a pair of hands wrings out a tar-blackened sponge and the tar can be seen overflowing into a beaker.

Sponge uses simple and powerful visuals to show people who smoke the negative effect smoking is having on their health, which prompts efforts to quit smoking. Research has proven that campaigns which employ graphic images and show negative health effects have the greatest impact on adult smokers.

The campaign was created by Cancer Institute NSW, and is a remake of the original 1979 television advertisement which was so successful in its day that tobacco lobbyists attempted to have it banned. It also resulted in a 3.4% decrease in smoking prevalence in Sydney between June and November 1983

The campaign will run in metropolitan and regional areas from Sunday 14 February to Saturday 26 March 2016, including 30 and 15 second TV advertisements, complemented by radio, online and social media advertising. A portion of the Facebook advertising will also be targeted towards prompting Aboriginal people to quit smoking. This will be achieved through the targeted placement of the advertisements to reach this audience. The Sponge television and radio advertisements will run on Aboriginal media channels.

Smokers will be encouraged to visit the Make Smoking History website by following links below.


Make smoking history campaign
Sarah Beasley
Cancer Council WA
(08) 9388 4370


Last updated: 9 February 2016
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