New Study: 104,000 Smokers Quit in 2014 Because of CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers Media Campaign
1.83 million additional quit attempts as a result of ‘Tips’ campaign, success highlights critical role of Prevention and Public Health Fund
(March 24, 2016) - CHICAGO
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Tips from Former Smokers™ national media campaign reduced the number of smokers in the U.S. by 104,000, with 1.83 million more quit attempts and 1.73 million additional smokers intending to quit within six months, according to a new study published today in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. The study examined smokers' reaction to Phase 2 of the 2014 "Tips" campaign, which ran between July 7 and September 7, 2014, and reveals the campaign's significant impact.
Launched in 2012 and recently renewed for the fifth year, the CDC's hard-hitting media campaign profiles real people who are living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), throat cancer, stroke, heart attack and asthma. The ad campaign targets cable TV, radio, billboards, online, magazines and newspapers, and will run in English, Spanish and three Asian languages. The "Tips" campaign is funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created in the Affordable Care Act to promote wellness, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.
"The Tips from Former Smokers campaign continues to be 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' Campaign has played an important and contributing role in the decline of adult smoking rates, which are at a historic low."
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 16 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.
"Together, these studies show that the Tips from Former Smokers media campaign encourages people to not only want to quit, but also to actively try to quit," Wimmer said. "Congress must continue to invest in the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health and this important media campaign as part of our national effort to drive down tobacco use."
In 2015, the House of Representatives' spending bill for the CDC would have cut funding for the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health by half — thereby eliminating the successful "Tips" Campaign. The Senate's bill supported full funding, and the final funding bill ultimately signed into law by the President restored almost all of the funding.
This latest study followed a 2013 study published in The Lancet that found 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. Another 2013 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, cdc.gov/tips, also received 2.8 million additional visits during the campaign.
"This study is the latest in a long line of evidence showing that media campaigns are among the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use. The Tips from Former Smokers campaign is a great example of how the Prevention and Public Health Fund is saving lives," said Wimmer.
Learn more about quitting smoking and lung health at Lung.org. For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco use, e-cigarettes and lung health, contact the American Lung Association at Media@Lung.org 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.