Q: Have you had any positive feedback about the campaign?
A: Everyone who has recognised me on the ad has commented on how well the advert was done, and how it was great that they knew it was real people and not actors. Working in sales, I've had a lot of my customers (new and previous) ask if it was me on the ad. This has always led into conversations where they have opened up and shared their personal stories of how they are trying to quit or how long they have quit for. Each story has a positive outcome because you never see a disappointed ex-smoker. You never tire of hearing how proud people are to have given up and the look of achievement on their faces. I’m so glad to finally be one of those people!
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 was nervous in the beginning when it first aired, and I didn't realise just how many people would recognise me from the advert! Seeing behind the scenes the work that went into the production of the advert, how real the people are and then seeing the final cut was brilliant. Hats off to the whole team for making us all so relaxed.
Q: How have you been going with quitting smoking?
A: When we filmed for the advert, I was just about to start my pre-quit patches, and I managed to break the daily habits and kick the cravings. I just checked my "My QuitBuddy" app and I had my last cigarette 119 days ago - I have never felt better. I believe that being part of the smoking advert made me reflect a bit more; listening to myself and seeing the look of disappointment on my own face. It made me realise that this time I had to do it for good. It's never easy, but I knew I was finally in the right frame of mind. It's also a small triumph when people chat with you about the advert and you can say that you are smoke-free, and be proud of it!
A guy at work had quit around the same time as me (I think there was a week difference) and it was good to hit the milestones with someone. As the weeks passed, we stopped talking about how many weeks had passed, how hard the cravings were or how many weeks were left with the patches, it became normal for us to be non-smokers. I am so proud of him kicking the habit, and so thankful for his support.
Q: Anything else you would like to tell us?
A: Quitting is never easy, but it's so worth it. I'm happy and proud of the advert and I hope it has hit home with a lot of people who want to give up, but can't because of others. It's hard resisting temptation, especially when it's right there in front of you. So always be considerate of others who are trying to quit because one day the shoe will be on the other foot and you'll know just how hard it is when you are quitting.
The benefits of stopping will always outweigh the benefits of smoking. If you are trying to quit, but have a slip up, then just start again. There are no rules to say how many times you must try to quit before you do for the last time.
Thank you to the team at the Cancer Council WA and Make Smoking History. You have helped massively in changing my outlook on smoking which has now lead me to quitting completely, something I thought could never be done.