Study: 100,000 Smokers Quit Because of "Tips" Campaign

Success Highlights Critical Role of Prevention and Public Health Fund

Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2013)

The CDC’s “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign reduced the number of smokers in the U.S. by 100,000, with 1.6 million more smokers attempting to quit, according to a new study published today in The Lancet. The study reveals the significant impact of the first series of “Tips” advertisements, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched in 2012, and was paid for by the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

The CDC’s hard-hitting media campaign profiles real people who are living with smoking-related diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), amputations from Buerger’s disease, throat cancer, stroke, heart attack and asthma. The television, radio, print and online ads, which can be viewed at www.cdc.gov/tips, also share powerful testaments from people who have lost loved ones from lung cancer and other diseases.

The “Tips” campaign also had a powerful impact on non-smokers, the study found. After seeing the advertising campaign, an estimated 4.5 million nonsmokers recommended a quit smoking service to friends/family members and more than an estimated six million talked with their family and friends about the dangers of smoking.

“This study is the latest in a long line of evidence showing that media campaigns are one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The Lung Association knows that the majority of smokers want to quit but most of them need assistance to be succeed and quit for good.”

The “Tips” campaign was funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created in the Affordable Care Act to promote wellness, to prevent disease, and to protect against public health emergencies. In addition to funding the “Tips” campaign, the Prevention Fund is already helping Americans across the country make healthier choices and take responsibility for their own health and the health of their families. Because of the Prevention Fund, states and communities are now able to help more people quit smoking through cessation programs and improve lung health by preventing and treating lung diseases, including COPD, lung cancer, and asthma. The Fund has also supported additional resources to state quit smoking hotlines.

“The ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ campaign is a great example of how the Prevention and Public Health Fund is saving lives,” said Wimmer. “Today’s study highlights the importance of maintaining the Prevention Fund for its original intent – to prevent diseases and save lives.”

Recognizing how important it is for smokers with previous quit attempts to find the support they need to quit for good, the American Lung Association has launched its “Quitter in You” campaign. The campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good. The campaign features a web site at www.quitterinyou.org, radio and Out-of-Home public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® Lung Helpline (>1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking® Online and Freedom From Smoking® in-person clinic. The campaign is focused in 14 target markets. A survey from the American Lung Association found that six out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.

“Research shows that most people aren’t successful the first time they try to quit smoking,” said Wimmer. “Each time you try, you learn a little more about the quitter in you. With each attempt, the American Lung Association is here to provide expert support and proven resources that have helped more than one million people quit smoking for good.”

Tobacco-related diseases are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing over 443,000 Americans each year. Smoking alone costs the U.S. economy $193 billion dollars every year, $96 billion in direct health care costs and $97 billion in lost productivity. The CDC’s paid media campaign is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money the tobacco industry spends on product marketing targeted for kids and teens. The U.S. cannot afford not to air these ads, and the Lung Association stands in strong support of the ads, and ready to help anyone who wants to end their tobacco addiction.

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. 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-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.