Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Hard hitting anti-smoking ads launched

1 June 2008

Hard hitting anti-smoking ads to strike chord with smokers

Adrian Pilkington and Damien O'Connor


New hard-hitting television advertisements showing the devastating impact smoking has on the lives of real New Zealanders will screen from today said Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor.

The series of six documentary style advertisements feature Adrian Pilkington, a 52-year-old from Auckland, who is dying of mouth cancer caused by smoking. He has only about six months to live.

Adrian was a smoker for more than 30 years and had his entire tongue removed through surgery in March 2007 due to mouth cancer. The tongue was replaced by a flap of skin and muscle from his stomach but he has been unable to eat or drink anything since his operation. He also has a permanent tracheostomy to help him breath.

“It’s a courageous thing Adrian has done. He is passionate about making a difference and using the time he has left to help put a stop to other New Zealand families losing loved ones to smoking,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I hope his story will strike a chord with smokers and prompt them into quitting,” said Mr O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor said the aim of the ad campaign is to personalise the new graphic warnings on cigarette packets and to help prevent some of the 4,700 smoking related deaths each year.

“Tobacco control is a high priority for this Labour-led government. In this year’s Budget we committed an additional $32 million over the next four years to support renewed efforts aimed at further reducing smoking rates but there is always more to do.

“Some people may find the new campaign harrowing but the fact is that smoking causes many diseases other than just lung cancer. Research has shown most smokers are unaware of, or underestimate, the extent of the serious health consequences of smoking.

In 2004, mouth cancer killed more than 100 people and there were more than 290 new cases reported that year. More than 80 percent of cancers of the mouth, nose and throat occur in people who smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Mr Pilkington said he regrets smoking and would hate for anyone else to go through the agony he has endured since he was first diagnosed with mouth cancer last year.

“I absolutely didn’t realise I could get mouth cancer from smoking otherwise there’s no way I would have kept smoking. If I could turn the clock back I would never have started in the first place,” Mr Pilkington said.

Mr O’Connor said: “There’s no escaping the human toll that smoking takes. Sadly, Adrian is one of many New Zealanders whose smoking will have the most serious of consequences.”

For help to quit smoking, smokers can talk to their GP, dentist or pharmacist, call the Quitline on 0800 778 778 or visit


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election