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Lung Cancer Film "Cigarette Suicide" Wins Award

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Nottingham student Emily Easton chose a topic close to her heart for her final piece of coursework.

The broadcast journalism student at Nottingham Trent University made a short film, Cigarette Suicide, about lung cancer, inspired by her 56-year-old uncle John Turner, who was dying of the disease.

Her work won a Central TV award and has earned her plaudits from lung cancer charities and medical professionals.

The ten-minute film highlights how lung cancer research is under-funded compared to other serious illnesses.

Despite the disease claiming 33,000 lives in the UK every year it receives less than four per cent of the national cancer research budget.

As well as interviewing her uncle, who has since died, Emily, 22, spoke to lung cancer survivor Ernie Roberts, of Hucknall, and the widow of another sufferer.

None of the victims had smoked, yet Emily, from Dorset, believes lung cancer patients suffer the stigma of it being seen as a smoker's disease.

Mr Roberts, 66, who launched the Evening Post's Stop It! smoking ban campaign, had a lung removed and is thought to have suffered the disease through passive smoking.

In the film he tells how someone, who had seen his wife Joan after his story appeared in the Post, said: "I bet he wishes he hadn't smoked."

Mr Roberts later says: "Lung cancer may have been in the same fortunate position (as other cancers) if investment had been put in there many years ago and the Government still has to wake up to the fact that it's often the smoker's cancer - but not always."

About 80% of lung cancer patients die within a year of diagnosis. Early detection is crucial in reducing mortality rates.

Emily's uncle, who was from Kent, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer two years ago, secondary to bowel cancer. He died in June, knowing Emily had been nominated for Central TV's best television feature 2007.

She is donating her £250 prize money to the Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice, which cared for her uncle "We all really miss my uncle but his attitude towards his cancer has taught us all to make the most of each day and tackle anything life throws at us," she said.

Emily is temping in an office in Bournemouth to earn enough money to move to London and pursue a career as a TV presenter next year.

To view an excerpt of the film go to www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

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