Champix and BCG2 show what smokers are missing out on

It’s no secret that smoking is expensive, and yet over 400,000 New Zealanders still swipe their debit cards to purchase a packet of cigarettes on a daily basis. And while the odd $20 splash out on smokes might not seem all that significant, the card swiping quickly adds up, leading to some pretty significant sums, which could be better spent on other items.

So, in an effort to show Kiwi smokers what they’re missing out on, Champix has launched a new campaign by BCG2 that illustrates what smokers are in fact puffing away every month. But instead of just quoting statistics on the cost of smoking, the campaign—which has print, radio and online executions—provides a tangible indication of how much is being spent.   

Released via print, radio and online executions, the campaign gives smokers a tangible indication of how much they spend on smoking. The print ads, currently on display around major metropolitan regions, feature three phrases: ‘I smoke a bag of groceries every day’; I smoke a big screen TV every month’; and ‘I smoke a family trip to Fiji every year’.    

“It is a simple message that resonates with both smokers and the smoke-free community, giving these smokers the help they need to quit smoking,” says Pfizer’s portfolio manager Debbie Billcliff. “The main two reasons a smokers would like to quit are for health and money. As well as the money smokers can save if they stop (that they can then use for something else), quitting stopping has both immediate and long-term health benefits.”

According to Statistics New Zealand, about 5,000 people die each year in New Zealand because of smoking or second-hand smoke exposure—meaning that deciding to put down the smokes could, quite literally, prove life-saving.   

“Champix has been used by over 100,000 NZ smokers,” says Billcliff. “Compared to trying to quit with no help ( going cold turkey), using Champix for 12 weeks, increases your chance of quitting by around four times.”

Given that smoking is such a burden on the healthcare system, government aims to have the nation smoke-free by 2025. And while the number of Kiwi smokers is reducing, there is still a lot of work left to be done, with statistics showing that smoking rates are still quite high among middle-aged New Zealanders.   


And the Champix ad that refers to a trip to Fiji is deliberate, in that smoking rates continue to be highest among New Zealanders who identify as Māori or Pacific Islander. 


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