Q: During filming you mentioned that your GP helped you to quit smoking. Can you tell us a little bit about how they supported you and why you might recommend other people ask their own GP for assistance?
A: I went to my GP because I had tried to quit a few times with no luck. Even being told mum had cancer caused solely from smoking didn't help. My GP was great. We set goals. We talked through the different options available and then chose what suited me the most. I had regular appointments with her to keep on track. She is very supportive and I think her input really helped in keeping me on track.
Q: Have you had any positive feedback about the campaign?
A: My friends and family have loved the ads. Those that don't see me on a regular basis always ask how I am going and if I am still not smoking.
Q: Can you tell us about anyone who has attempted to quit as a result of you being in the commercial?
A: I guess I was pretty lucky and most of my important people had already quit. Sadly there are couple of friends who still smoke, however, they are more self-conscious when smoking around me and usually walk off.
Q: Now that the advertisement’s been on air for a few months, how are you feeling about your involvement in the campaign?
A: I have been working nights for most of the year, so I actually haven't really seen the ad. I did enjoy the campaign though, and I really hope that it has helped people quit. I do know the ad is played a lot as I am still getting messages asking if I was on the television. Then when people hear I have quit they are really supportive.
Q: How have you been going with quitting smoking?
A: I just had a look and I have not smoked for 227 days. Must say I am pretty chuffed with that. My mum is getting sicker. I am running the HBF Run for a Reason on Sunday to help raise money for the Cancer Council in the hope that one day we can make smoking illegal and banned for all the damage it does. I have kept up with my triathlons and have done three now. I have done my first park run and am signed up for a few other fun runs. I feel so much better for not smoking.
Q: Would you like to tell us anything else?
A: I had fun doing this ad. I really hope it helps people quit. I would hate to see anyone go through what we are with mum. Some of the feedback I have had from people though was they thought we were just actors and not quitters. They are really surprised when they are told that we are all real people and this is our real story.
I am totally committed to this cause now. It’s like a war I am fighting so no one else has to go through the struggle mum is.
If Karen’s story has motivated you to quit smoking, you can find plenty of useful information on this website about ways to quit, such as talking with your GP or healthcare professional, and how to stay quit. You can view Karen's original video interview here.