Since the 1960s, when evidence regarding the negative health effects of smoking became well-known, governments have instituted tobacco control policies as a matter of public health. From the early 1970s health warnings began to appear on cigarette packs and advertising, while bans on television and radio advertising came into effect in 1976. Sustained media campaigns with a broad reach were introduced in the early 1980s, with ‘Quit’ campaigns run in most states of Australia. Specialist organisations such as Cancer Councils and the National Heart Foundation often partnered these anti- smoking campaigns. After passive smoking was identified as a health risk for the general population, policies for smoke-free workplaces were instigated. Restrictions on smoking in public spaces, including restaurants and bars, were in place by 2006.
The National Tobacco Campaign, launched in 1997, was the first national campaign aimed at decreasing smoking in Australia. Featuring graphic, and often confronting, images of the health effects of smoking, the advertising campaign is a long way from the softer, more humorous approach taken by this badge.