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CDC airs new antitobacco ads

February 08, 2016
Atlanta — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is once again using its "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign to educate the public on the dangers of tobacco.

On Jan. 25, the agency began airing a new round of ads designed to raise awareness about how tobacco use can negatively impact health.  This most recent campaign provides stories of people living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression and anxiety, loss of teeth due to severe periodontal disease, dual use of both cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, smokers' risk for heart disease with an emphasis on the military, and a cancer survivor that includes a message focused on the benefits of quitting.

The campaign — which first launched in 2012 — is credited with helping "millions of smokers quit," according to a CDC release. The new ads will air nationally for 20 weeks in all media outlets.

"These former smokers are helping save tens of thousands of lives by sharing their powerful stories of how smoking has affected them," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years."

Since 2012, the Tips ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free quit line number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Some of the real people featured in the ads include:

  • Marlene, 68, who started smoking in high school and began losing her vision to macular degeneration at age 56. Besides quitting smoking, the best chance for slowing her vision loss is a drug that must be injected through a needle into her eyes.
  • Mark, 47, an Air Force veteran who used cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.  He quit in 2009 when he developed rectal cancer at age 42.
  • Kristy, 35, who tried e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting and was diagnosed with early COPD before quitting completely.
For more information, visit CDC.gov and search "smoking cessation." The website includes detailed assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute to support smokers trying to quit.