Australia - year long campaign starting that links smoker's cough to lung cancer..

January 21, 2011 - Australia's health department on Monday unveils its most hard-hitting campaign against tobacco use with a new advertising campaign graphically links smoking with lung cancer hit the airwaves and TV screens as the Gillard Government continues its world-leading action to combat tobacco use.

"Smoking kills. It's as simple as that," the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, said today in launching Australia's largest ever National Tobacco Campaign. This campaign will emphasise the link between a smoker's cough-an everyday occurrence that is familiar to most smokers-and lung cancer. The campaign reminds smokers that a cough is the most common symptom of lung cancer.

The campaign (will run throughout 2011) will include national advertising across television, print, online, outdoor and radio with a simple call to action: smokers-attempt to quit today.

The 61 million dollar advertising blitz links the smoker's cough to lung cancer. The Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the ads are a big investment.

The Australian Lung Foundation's Chief Executive William Darbishire says he hopes there's a reduction in the rate of teenage smokers. Darbishire said while smoking rates were declining, anecdotal evidence suggested young girls aged between 17 to 19 were smoking at alarming rates. "More women are dying now from lung cancer than from breast cancer," he told reporters. "In movies more and more people are smoking now ... that's probably why younger people think it's cool."

From Tuesday, February 1st smokers will be able to access nicotine replacement therapy more cheaply if they have a prescription, as it will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, so taxpayers cover most of the cost. New Zealand - more on smoking cessation - does it always require a drug(s)??

Australian adult smoking rates are at an all-time low of about 17 per cent, down from 34 per cent in 1980, but lung cancer remains one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australia. It kills 15,000 people and costs taxpayers $31.5 billion a year. Smoking is most prevalent among the young - 21 per cent of people aged 20 to 29 smoke daily.

The government's target is to reduce the rate of smoking amongst adults in Australia to 10 per cent by 2018. Some 15,000 Australians die each year from tobacco-related diseases and smoking costs the economy $31.5 billion annually.

References: Australia unveils hard-hitting National Tobacco Campaign by Xien Jana Vencio,, 1/31/2011; New Australian anti-smoking campaign, Australia Network News, 1/30/2011; Ads to link smoker's cough with lung cancer, Jessica Wright,, 1/30/2011.