Even your computer gets cancer...
When a graphic anti-smoking ad comes on the television, Patrice Anseline reaches for the remote and changes the channel as quickly as possible.
The 52-year-old from Moe in Victoria has terminal brain cancer and the last thing he wants is for his young children to be shown gruesome images of what could be taking place inside his body.
"When you've got cancer and you know that you're going to die of that illness and you're sitting there with your family you just don't need that," Mr Anseline said.
Of course, for people who do smoke and don't yet have cancer a gruesome, confronting ad can provide a shock that gets them to give it up.
Professor Rob Donovan, the Director of the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control at Curtin University, said graphic ads work if they make the viewer realise that their own body could look like what's being shown on screen.
"The ads should draw a link between the person smoking and the effect on their body. They should make the smoker think about the tar in their own lungs," he said.
But can a non-graphic image be equally as powerful? We trawled the internet and found non-graphic images that draw a similar link between smoking and what it does to your body — without the gore.
Prof Donovan said images like these make the same connection for the viewer as regular smoking ads, but use a different means to get there.
"They come at exactly the same thing but they come at it from a very objective and refreshing perspective," he said.
"If all this crap is in the computer or in the curtain it’s also in the lungs. It's the same principle as the other graphic ads."
Kylie Lindorff, the chair of the Tobacco Issues Committee at Cancer Council Australia, said the purpose of graphic ads was to provoke a negative reaction in viewers.
"What all the evidence tells us is that advertisements that arouse strong negative emotion work better than those that dont," she said.
"It doesn't necessarily need to be graphic but it just needs to have that emotion.
"Smokers say they’re more effective, they remember them more, and they’re more likely to believe them."
She said it was unfortunate that some people were offended by the graphic ads, but the Cancer Council also receives positive feedback from cancer sufferers because the ads show the reality of the illness.
"There are 15,000 Australians that die every year from a tobacco related illness. We're trying to stop people dying. It's the biggest cause of preventable death in Australia."
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