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Video: Teenager tells of grief as new anti-smoking drive is launched

Kilkenny teen Margaret O’Brien has spoken about losing her mother to lung cancer, as part of a moving new HSE campaign.

Margaret O'Brien speaking in the short film
Margaret O'Brien speaking in the short film
Image: YouTube

THE HSE HAS launched  a hard-hitting new anti-smoking campaign, in which a Kilkenny teenager speaks of her grief after losing her mother to lung cancer.

Schoolgirl Margaret O’Brien, who will do her Leaving Cert next year, describes how she knew her mother Jackie’s lifelong smoking was harmful but thought “no-one could be that unlucky” as to die from cancer.

She tells her story in one of three new TV advertisements highlighting the HSE’s “One in Two” campaign. The adverts focus on the fact that one in every two smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease.

In the short film, Margaret describes how she no longer enjoys going to other people’s houses, with “their mams and dads being so close to them. My family isn’t like that anymore.”

The other two films showcase the stories of Pauline Bell from Wexford, whose husband George died at 48 from a heart attack; and Gerry Collins from Wicklow, who describes his experience with cancer.

The three clips will be broadcast on RTÉ and TV3 on New Year’s Day, when the HSE hopes to connect with people considering giving up smoking. Dr Fenton Howell, HSE director of public health, said:

Evidence from all over the world has shown the impact that real-life, personal stories, like Pauline, Gerry and Margaret’s, can have on smokers’ drive to quit. We’re very grateful to all the people who are bringing this campaign to life by telling their stories.

You can watch the three stories in full here:

Margaret O’Brien:

Pauline Bell:

Gerry Collins:

(Videos: HSEIreland)

More: Graphic photographs to be placed on cigarette packets>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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