Banned anti-smoking ad returns
Shock tactics: The once-banned anti-smoking ad returns. Picture: Supplied

An anti-smoking campaign banned briefly by the tobacco industry in the 1980s has been reintroduced in WA to target young smokers.

With 12.7 per cent of West Australian's older than 16 still smoking, the Cancer Council of WA hopes shock tactics will encourage more people to quit.

The $530,000 Make Smoking History campaign, which aired last night, features a sponge filled with tar to show what smoking did to lungs.

Advertising guru John Bevin devised the campaign for the NSW Cancer Institute in 1979.

"It's something that people can really understand," he said. "You've been given lungs to soak up air and look what happens when you use them to soak up smoke.

"It is powerful because it allows the smoker to internalise literally and figuratively."

Cancer Council WA tobacco programs manager Cassandra Clayforth said that when the campaign was reintroduced in NSW in 2007, a survey showed it encouraged two-thirds of smokers under 40 to consider quitting.

"Because in WA we haven't aired the ad since 1993, we've got the same young demographic who haven't seen it," she said. "We know it's a campaign that works."

The Tobacco Institute of Australia managed to have the advertisement banned briefly in the 1980s but the wording was altered slightly and approved.

WA's smoking rate has fallen from 21.8 per cent in 2002 to 12.7 per cent in 2012, but Ms Clayforth said about 270,000 West Australians still lit up.

"About 1250 Western Australians lose their lives to smoking every year," she said.

The WA Cancer Council is pushing for under-18s to be banned from selling cigarettes and for 100 per cent of outdoor eating areas in pubs to be smoke-free.

Last month Health Minister Kim Hames said the WA Government had new anti-smoking measures well under way.

The West Australian

Popular videos