A new survey has found nearly one-third of smokers believe the health effects of smoking are exaggerated, while less than four out of ten smokers are able to identify emphysema as a health effect of smoking.
The findings come as Quit launches a real-life, documentary-style ad campaign today, featuring a former smoker suffering from emphysema.
Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the ad showed the negative health effects of smoking were far from exaggerated - and were very real.
"Smokers are kidding themselves if they think they can get away with smoking because the health effects have been exaggerated. Almost all smokers will get emphysema, while a quarter of all deaths from smoking are from emphysema. If smoking doesn't kill you, it will likely affect you in some other way - often in ways that can change you and your family's lives forever."
The new campaign features former smoker Mick Roberts, who's suffered emphysema for four years. In a series of ads, Mick speaks about himself and his illness, the effects emphysema has had on him and the effects it's had on his family.
Mick said his journey with emphysema had been an extremely difficult time, one that he wouldn't wish on anyone.
"Of course most smokers know the dangers of smoking. I knew the dangers too, but I thought I could get away with it. Well turns out I didn't get away with it, and you might not either. Struggling to breathe... hopping in an ambulance and not knowing whether you're going to see your family again... seeing the terror in their eyes as you turn blue - that's just the half of it and believe me, it's not exaggerated."
"However much you like smoking, however much you think you can't quit - it's just not worth the risk to you and your family. Give it up."
Mick was given six months to live at the time of filming of the campaign. He's since received a double-lung transplant and is being monitored very closely.
Mick's GP, Dr Mark Davies, said Mick and his family had been through some tough times and it wasn't over yet.
"I see patients like Mick all the time. It starts off small: a cough, difficulty walking up stairs. And then it gets much, much worse. Mick has been living with emphysema for four years. Most of those years he hasn't been able to work, he hasn't been able to help around the house, he hasn't been able to kick the football with his kids - he couldn't even shower on his own."
"Smoking doesn't have to kill you to change your life forever. Why would you want to feel like you're breathing through a straw for the rest of your life? Do yourself a favour. Quit smoking today."
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 The Cancer Council Victoria survey of 861 smokers found:
- 32% of smokers believe the health effects of smoking have been exaggerated
- 37.5% of smokers name emphysema or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as being a health effect of smoking