CDC Launches Powerful New Generation of Quit Smoking Ads
Lung Association celebrates renewal of successful Tips from Former Smokers campaign
(January 19, 2016) - CHICAGO
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The American Lung Association applauds the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the continued success of its Tips from Former Smokers™ national media campaign with the launch of a new round of hard-hitting ads that seek to inspire smokers to quit through firsthand stories from individuals suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities. This marks the fifth year of the highly effective public health campaign.
"The Tips from Former Smokers campaign has been extremely successful at highlighting the serious and immediate dangers of tobacco use and inspiring smokers to quit," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "The Tips from Former Smokers has played an important and contributing role in the decline of adult smoking rates, which are at an historic low."
Today, the CDC announced a renewal of the federally-funded national tobacco education campaign, which highlights the real stories of people living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. The ad campaign starts on January 25 and will last for 20 weeks, targeting cable TV, radio, billboards, online, magazines and newspapers. Running in English, Spanish and three Asian languages, the new ads will address smoking-related diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease as well as focus on how smoking impacts behavioral health issues.
"We are glad the CDC is highlighting the stories of Americans who live with smoking-related health conditions," Wimmer said. "The tobacco industry spends more than a million dollars an hour on marketing, it's important that the realities of those suffering from tobacco use and smoking-related health conditions don't fall under the shadow of the tobacco industry's mountain of marketing dollars."
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing close to half a million Americans each year. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking related disease, and every day about 600 youth under the age of 18 become daily smokers. In fact, a recent study has shown that one in four youth now use at least one tobacco product.
"We are glad to see the CDC build on that success with messages that address serious health conditions including COPD and heart disease, allowing people to understand what it is really like to live with these conditions," said Wimmer. "This campaign is essential to raising awareness about the realities of the health consequences of smoking, and several studies have found it to be extremely effective."
A 2013 report by the CDC shows the tremendous impact the second Tips from Former Smokers media campaign had on helping smokers quit and on saving lives. The report in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that the media campaign increased calls by more than 150,000, a 75 percent increase to 1-800-QUITNOW. The campaign's website, www.cdc.gov/tips, also received 2.8 million additional visits during the campaign.
This report followed another 2013 report from The Lancet that the first Tips from Former Smokers campaign that ran in 2012 reduced the number of smokers in the U.S. by 100,000, with 1.6 million more smokers attempting to quit. Together these studies show that the investment of the Prevention and Public Health Fund in this media campaign is driving down tobacco use.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and cessation or tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.