Seeking to encourage smokers to quit and deter children from ever beginning to smoke, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national ad campaign named "Tips from Former Smokers".
The campaign that depicts the harsh reality of illness and damage suffered as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke will run for at least 12 weeks beginning March 19 on television, radio, and billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers nationwide.
According to the CDC, the ads focus on smoking-related lung and throat cancer, heart attack, stroke, Buerger's disease, and asthma. The campaign features suggestions from former smokers on how to get dressed when you have a stoma (a surgical opening in the neck) or artificial limbs, what scars from heart surgery look like and reasons why people have quit. The ads will be tagged with 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or the www.smokefree.gov web site, which provides free quitting information.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden said, "Although they may be tough to watch, the ads show real people living with real, painful consequences from smoking. There is sound evidence that supports the use of these types of hard-hitting images and messages to encourage smokers to quit, to keep children from ever beginning to smoke, and to drastically reduce the harm caused by tobacco."
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is estimated that 46 million people, or 20.6% of adults (aged 18 years and older), in the United States smoke cigarettes. Every day, over 1,000 youth under 18 become daily smokers. Cigarette smoking accounts for about 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the U.S. annually.
Smoking is said to cost the American economy almost $200 billion a year, in medical costs and lost productivity.
The FDA's warning label rule, that would have come into effect beginning September 2012 , making it mandatory for cigarette packets to display graphic images depicting the effects of smoking cigarettes was declared unconstitutional by a District of Columbia federal judge late last month. The FDA has appealed the federal court ruling.
Will the new anti-smoking ad campaign serve as a wake-up call to smokers and potential smokers? At least, that's what it is meant to be and motivate the Americans to quit smoking, according to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services.
by RTT Staff Writer
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