Credit: Creighton Osteoporosis Research Center

An emotive TV advertisement targeting women who smoke will hit television screens in Victoria from Sunday.

In 2006, lung cancer overtook breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women in the state, and stayed at the top in 2007.

In 2007, about 811 Victorian women died from lung cancer more than in any previous year.

In the emotive TV ad, a woman is showed to have just found out from her doctor she has lung cancer, and she has to break the news to her children.

Fiona Sharkie, Quit executive director urged smokers to think about the effects on their families.

Although the number of smokers is now in decline, the deadly legacy of the years when female smoking rates were at their peak is now becoming apparent, she said.

More women and families in Victoria are dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis than ever before, most of those because of smoking.

Smokers need to realize this could happen to you and your family.

Marr Duffy, nurse coordinator of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said she was seeing a growing number of women with lung cancer.

Young children who come in often don't know what cancer is and why mummy is sick, she said.

All they know is that their universe has been disrupted by hospital visits, treatments, and the presence of strangers.

For women with young children who rely on them for everything, there's probably nothing worse.