The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a new round of “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign ads, with a focus on former smokers who suffered vision loss and colorectal cancer as a result of smoking.
The ads, which highlight the benefits of quitting for smokers’ loved ones and the importance of quitting cigarettes completely, will begin March 30 and run for 20 weeks on TV, radio, billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers.
The ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view the personal stories from the campaign:
One of this year’s participants is 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. To date, she has had more than 100 shots in each eye.
“This will probably go on for the rest of my life,” said Marlene. “If I’d had a crystal ball many years ago, I would never have put that first cigarette in my mouth.”
The ads also feature:
• 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.
• Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years before developing colon cancer at age 49, followed by surgery and months of chemotherapy. She needed an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste.
• Tiffany, 35, whose mother died from lung cancer when Tiffany was 16. She quit smoking when her own daughter turned 16 so she could be around for important milestones in her daughter’s life. Tiffany’s ad will run as a public service announcement.
• Kristy, 35, who tried using e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting. Kristy then suffered a collapsed lung, and was diagnosed with early chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) before she quit smoking completely.
Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year and remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. For every American who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. Nationally, about three out of four adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes.
“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., in a news release. “These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years.”
Since 2012, the Tips ads national tobacco education campaign has helped scores of smokers quit. Ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free quitline number.
A Thunderclap is also planned for 11 a.m. on Monday March 30 to help promote the launch of the new ads. Please follow this link: https://thndr.it/1BPuXJI and join CDC’s Thunderclap. Once you’ve pledged your support, Thunderclap will automatically send out a preapproved message announcing the new Tips ads from your account. This is a great way to collectively join together and make coalitions’ voices heard on social media.
To access and view the new 2015 Tips ads and supporting materials from the Tips campaign so your coalition may implement and enhance the campaign in your community, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.
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