e-mail Print Share

CDC anti-smoking campaign emphasizes perio outcomes

June 25, 2014
Collage of former smokers
Amanda, 30, smoked while pregnant; her baby was born two months prematurely and then spent weeks in an incubator.
    
Shawn, 50, breathes through an opening in his throat, thanks to smoking-related throat cancer.
    
Brian, 45, is an HIV-positive former smoker and the harmful combination led to clogged blood vessels and a stroke.
    
And then there's Terrie. She died last fall at age 53, thanks to smoking-related cancer.
    
These are some of the anecdotal horror stories shared during the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2014 Tips from Former Smokers campaign in a series of new ads set to launch July 7 across various media.  In the ads, people from many walks of life share tales of how smoking has left them in some way debilitated.
    
The CDC has mined such powerful stories since launching the campaign in 2012, hoping to steer Americans away from harmful and potentially lethal outcomes related to cigarettes, smoking and tobacco. The 2014 summer campaign is distinguished for the health conditions it emphasizes, including periodontal disease, that are not commonly associated with smoking. The other areas include premature births and HIV complications. The campaign also continues to emphasize cancer risks and outcomes.
    
Stop smoking brochures
The stories of campaign participants and former smokers Brett, 49, and Felicita, 54, reflect the dental aspects of smoking. The two share how they lost all or most of their teeth to gum disease in one of two Spanish-language ads set to run on national Spanish media channels.
    
By the CDC's own account, the Tips campaign is effective.
    
"These new ads are powerful," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D. "They highlight illnesses and suffering caused by smoking that people don't commonly associate with cigarette use.  Smokers have told us these ads help them quit by showing what it's like to live every day with disability and disfigurement from smoking."
    
Existing Tips ads ran earlier this year for nine weeks and generated more than 100,000 additional calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support, the CDC reported.  Weekly quitline calls were up an average of 80 percent while the ads were on the air compared to the week before they began running.  Preliminary estimates show there were nearly 650,000 unique visitors to the Tips website during those nine weeks.
    
As in previous campaigns, the 2014 ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view the former smokers' startling personal stories.  The website also includes detailed assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute to support smokers trying to quit.  
    
More than 16 million Americans live with smoking-related diseases, according to the CDC. About 480,000 Americans succumb to smoking-related diseases each year, deaths that are preventable. In fact, says the CDC, smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
    
Aside from announcing the campaign's summer launch on June 24, the CDC also released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which focuses on "Tobacco Product Use Among Adults—United States, 2012-2013." To view the MMWR, visit cdc.gov.
    
For more information about the campaign, including profiles of the former smokers featured, links to the ads and other campaign resources, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.  Dentists also may refer patients to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA's consumer website, for basic information on smoking, tobacco, gum disease and oral cancers.
    
The ADA Catalog also offers patient education materials on smoking-related oral conditions, including these three six-panel brochures:
    
•    Get the Facts About Mouth and Throat Cancer (W151)

•    Smokeless Tobacco: Think before you Chew (W190)

•    Quit Smoking: Better Health, Better Life, Better You (W126)

Each brochure is available to members in packs of 50 for $26 and $39 retail. Save 15 percent on all ADA Catalog products with promo code 14144 through August 15. The brochures and other products are available at adacatalog.org or by calling 1-800-947-4746.