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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Smoking - it’s enough to make you sick, very sick.

The Sponge campaign aims to inform people who smoke about the serious impact that tobacco has on their health and to motivate them to stop smoking before they become really sick. It provides them with graphic information about the consequences of smoking.

The main objectives of the campaign are to:

  • Motivate smokers to quit now by adding a sense of urgency
  • Increase awareness of the health consequences of smoking
  • Provide support to quit smoking through the Quitline 13 7848.


Target Audience

Although all smokers are the target audience, the primary audience for the particular campaign is smokers aged 20-44 years.

Campaign Background

The original Sponge commercial was created by John Bevins in 1979 for the NSW Department of Health.

It was used in one of the first major mass media campaign efforts in Sydney and in Melbourne in the early 1980s. The commercial has been used in most states across Australia, including Tasmania when Quit Tasmania used the campaign for its first ever media campaign back in 1995.

In 2007 the Sponge campaign was remade by the Cancer Institute NSW and reintroduced to a new generation of smokers. Following production of the new Sponge campaign, results from online testing conducted in NSW indicated that:

  • More than three-quarters found the advertisement to be believable and relevant.
  • Around 70% found the advertisement made them ‘stop and think’, ‘feel uncomfortable’ and ‘more concerned about their smoking’.
  • 60% stated that it would make them more likely to quit smoking.

This campaign's key strength lies in its simplicity and ability to communicate the immediate health consequences of smoking.

The Sponge campaign was launched in Tasmania to coincide with Quit Tasmania’s 20th Anniversary in March 2015.


Support for smokers

An important part of the campaign is to ensure that those who smoke know they can get professional help to quit by calling the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for the cost of a local call. It is a confidential and non-judgmental service run by specially trained professionals. Other support options available are seeing a GP or pharmacist.

To order a FREE self help Quit Pack Call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848)
SMS your name and address to 0408 264 664
or click here
Online information
Visit QuitCoach
Download the My QuitBuddy free app