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Critics’ Choice 2018: students decide on winning anti-smoking ad

Posted 17 Nov, 2018

Students across Australia have chosen their favourite anti-smoking advertisement, with Quit Victoria’s ‘You Quit, You Win’ hitting the mark.

The annual Critics’ Choice initiative asks students nationwide to watch 11 anti-smoking advertisements from around the world and vote on which one they find most effective in deterring young people from smoking.

Now in its 18th year, this year’s winning advertisement depicts all the things smokers hate about smoking, including breathlessness, the feeling of being judged and the cost. In doing so, it emphasises what people can gain from quitting.

With over 800 votes cast from schools in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, students had a diverse range of anti-smoking ads to choose from, such as Quit Your Way, Real Stories – Gary Hill and My daughter helped me quit smoking.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said with almost 19,000 deaths caused by smoking in Australia each year, it’s as important as ever to get young people talking about the dangers of smoking.

“Critics’ Choice is an engaging way for teachers to gets students thinking and talking about the issues surrounding tobacco use and control,” Dr White said.

“Although fewer young people are taking up smoking in Australia than ever before, we can’t afford to be complacent. We must do all we can to ensure our young people are aware of the health impacts associated with smoking and are not lured into the habit by tobacco industry marketing tactics.”

Quit Tasmania and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) in Western Australia partnered with Quit Victoria to deliver the 2018 initiative.

Cancer Council Tasmania’s CEO Ms Penny Egan said “Critics’ Choice is not only a great way for schools to address the issue of tobacco and smoking with students, but also provides us with a sense of what campaign messages resonate with young people.”

ACOSH’s Executive Director Mr Maurice Swanson said “Evidence shows hard-hitting TV advertisements which show the health effects of smoking, and generate emotion in the viewer, are the most effective with both adults and young people.”

The winning schools for 2018 are:

  • Keilor Downs College, VIC

  •  Dongara District High, WA

  • Latrobe High School, TAS

Participating schools were entered into a draw for prizes, with the winning school in Victoria receiving a $500 sports voucher.

Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, the State Government of Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria. For more information, visit:

Quit Tasmania is a program of Cancer Council Tasmania. For more information, visit

Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) is an independent coalition. For more information, visit

Media release

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