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Mick - anti-smoking campaign


Mick is a repeat anti-tobacco campaign targeting smokers aged 34-54 years in NSW.

The testimonial style ad features Mick Roberts, a 49-year-old man from Geelong who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - commonly known as emphysema.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage smokers to quit now, by showing them the very real consequences of a smoking related illness, on their own quality of life and that of their loved ones.

The campaign launches in NSW on 4 March 2018 on free-to-air television, supported by online video and radio.  It concludes on 22 April 2018.

Campaign description

The creative follows Mick discussing how his decision to start smoking when he was young has affected his life today. 

In the series of advertisements (6 in total), Mick is shown using his oxygen tank while struggling to carry out seemingly normal everyday tasks.

He talks openly to the camera about how his smoking addiction caused his emphysema and how it has negatively affected his life and those of the people around him.

He reminiscences on being a young, strong and fit individual and describes how he now struggles to walk up the stairs.

At the ad’s conclusion, we see the call to action, Smoking Takes Lives. For support, visit iCanQuit.com.au. - emphasising that smoking doesn't have to kill you to take your life.

Campaign Q&A

Who is behind the Mick campaign?

Mick was developed by Cancer Council Victoria in 2011. The Cancer Institute NSW Licensed this campaign from Cancer Council Victoria to use in NSW.

Are the people in the advertisements actors?

No, Mick Roberts is a 49-year-old man from Geelong. He became a focus of the advert after approaching Cancer Council Victoria to tell his story in the hope it would encourage others to quit smoking.

How was the research done? Is it credible?

The campaign was selected by the Institute due to its strong performance in pre-testing in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania for believability, relevance, and help seeking and quitting behaviour.

In 2016, the cancer Institute carried out online pretesting with the target audience. All six TVCs performed strongly with a majority (82%) agreeing the concept/key message would encourage them to quit smoking.

Do media campaigns actually work in getting smokers to quit?

Yes.  Research has shown that mass media campaigns are one of the most effective means to reduce smoking[i], especially when they offer smokers support services and resources to help them quit. 

Do adult campaigns influence young people as well?

Research demonstrates that there are few age and gender differences in how people respond to different quit smoking advertising[ii]. There is good evidence that youth respond in a similar way to adults to adult targeted antismoking campaigns[iii][iv] and strong evidence that these campaigns reduce youth smoking rates[v]

‘Social’ or infrequent smoking

There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke—even an occasional cigarette or exposure to second hand smoke—is harmful.  Smoking just one to four cigarettes a day almost triples your risk of dying from heart disease or lung cancer. For more information on the health effects, visit www.iCanQuit.com.au.

Smoking and stress

While you may feel like smoking relieves stress, your body is actually under greater stress.  When you smoke, nicotine makes your heart rate and blood pressure rise[vi] and nicotine withdrawal can make you feel irritable, aggressive, anxious and depressed[vii]. Smoking answers your nicotine craving, but it’s a short fix. There are other ways to deal with stress, like exercise, distraction, talking to friend/ family.

I don’t need to quit smoking as I don’t have any symptoms. I’ll quit when I’m older/later/when I experience symptoms.

If you smoke, the chances are that you are damaging your body. Early symptoms include experiencing cough, shortness of breath, and lack of fitness.

Smoking and the family

Quitting smoking benefits you and your family’s (or future family’s) health. It makes you a stronger role model.

Children in non-smoking households are less likely to develop asthma and other respiratory conditions[viii].

Children are more likely to start smoking if their parents or siblings smoke[ix] [x] [xi] [xii] [xiii].

There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Any exposure to tobacco smoke—even an occasional cigarette or exposure to second hand smoke—is harmful.

Quitting smoking will improve the health of your whole family[xiv].

Smoking related death and disease could mean that other family members will need to support you during sickness.

What are the health benefits of quitting?

The best thing any smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking. There are health benefits of quitting for all smokers, regardless of age, sex or length of time that they have been smoking. In particular, risk of stroke significantly reduces and becomes similar to that of a never-smoker in between five to 15 years.

Quitting smoking has benefits for your appearance, including reducing the risk of wrinkles and appearing to age quickly, as well as yellow teeth and bad breath.

Regardless of your age or length of time that you’ve been smoking, quitting is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and wellbeing in the immediate and long term future. [xv] [xvi] [xvii] [xviii].

When you quit smoking your lung function begins to improve and you may begin to feel like doing more exercise, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

The immediate and long term health benefits to quitting[xix] [xx] [xxi] [xxii] include decreased blood pressure, improved smell and taste, improved lung function, decrease in coughing and shortness of breath.

Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing such conditions as heart disease, stroke, many cancers including lung cancer, respiratory diseases, degenerative eye disease, and blindness.

If you smoke, the chances are that you are damaging your body. Early symptoms include experiencing cough, shortness of breath, and lack of fitness.

The benefits of quitting happen almost immediately:

Time since quitting

How your health benefits

20 minutes

Your heart rate reduces

12 hours

The level of poisonous carbon monoxide in your blood reduces

2-12 weeks

Your risk of a heart attack begins to reduce and your lung function improves making exercise easier

1-9 months

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease

1 year

Your risk of coronary heart disease is halved

5 years

Your risk of mouth, throat and oesophageal cancer and stroke decreases

10 years

Your risk of lung cancer is halved and your risk of bladder, kidney and pancreatic cancer decreases

15 years

Your risk of coronary heart disease and overall death fall to the risk of someone who has never smoked

References

[i] Wakefield MA, Durkin S, Spittal MJ, et al. Impact of tobacco control policies and mass media campaigns on monthly adult smoking prevalence. Am J Public Health 98:1443-50, 2008

[ii] Durkin S., Brennan E. and Wakefield M. Mass media campaigns to promote smoking cessation among adults: an integrative review. Tobacco Control, 2012, 21, 127-138.

[iii] National Cancer Institute. The role of the media in promoting and reducing tobacco use. Tobacco Control Monograph No 19. NIH Pub No 07-6242. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute: Bethesda

[iv] US Department of Health and Human services. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults: a report of the surgeon general. Report. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health service, Office of the Surgeon General, Rockville, MD: Atlanta 2012.

[v] ANPHA Tobacco control and mass media campaigns: evidence brief. Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra 2013

[vi] Royal College of Physicians of London. Nicotine addiction in Britain. A report of the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians. London: Royal College of Physicians of London, 2000. Available from: http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/pubs/books/nicotine/

[vii] Hughes JR. Effects of abstinence from tobacco: etiology, animal models, epidemiology, and significance: a subjective review. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 2007;9(3):329–39. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17365765

[viii] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/sgr_2006/index.htm

[ix] Armstrong BK, de Klerk NH, Shean RE, Dunn DA, Dolin PJ. Influence of education and advertising on the uptake of smoking by children. Med J Aust 1990; 152: 117-124.

[x] National Health and Medical Research Council. Smoking habits of Australian schoolchildren. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1979.

[xi] Alexander HM, Callcott R, Dobson AJ et al. Cigarette smoking and drug use in schoolchildren: IV -- Factors associated with changes in smoking behaviour. Int J Epidemiol 1983; 12: 59-66.

[xii] Gliksman MD, Dwyer T, Wlodarczyk J, Pierce JP. Cigarette smoking in Australian schoolchildren. Med J Aust 1989; 150: 81-84.

[xiii] Shean RE, de Klerk NH, Armstrong BK, Walker NR. Seven-year follow-up of a smoking-prevention program for children. Aust J Public Health 1994; 18: 205-208.

[xiv] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/sgr_2006/index.htm

[xv] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health benefits of smoking cessation: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1990.

[xvi] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/index.htm

[xvii] US Department of Health and Human Services. How smoking causes diseases: a report of the Surgeon General:. Atlanta, Georgia: US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

[xviii] International Agency for Research on Cancer. Reversal of risk after quitting smoking. IARC handbooks of cancer prevention, tobacco control, Vol. 11. Lyon, France: IARC, 2007. Available from: http://apps.who.int/bookorders/anglais/detart1.jsp?sesslan=1&codlan=1&codcol=76&codcch=22

[xix] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health benefits of smoking cessation: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1990.

[xx] US Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/index.htm

[xxi] US Department of Health and Human Services. How smoking causes diseases: a report of the Surgeon General:. Atlanta, Georgia: US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

[xxii] International Agency for Research on Cancer. Reversal of risk after quitting smoking. IARC handbooks of cancer prevention, tobacco control, Vol. 11. Lyon, France: IARC, 2007. Available from: http://apps.who.int/bookorders/anglais/detart1.jsp?sesslan=1&codlan=1&codcol=76&codcch=22