American Lung Association Celebrates a Decade of CDC’s Lifesaving ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ Campaign, Inspiring Millions to Quit Smoking

Special Tobacco Quitline Edition of American Journal of Preventive Medicine Demonstrates Importance of Funding and Quitlines, Coincides with 10th Year of ‘Tips’ Campaign

Statement of Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) launch of the 2021 “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign and the special edition in American Journal of Preventive Medicine on state tobacco quitlines:

"Today's launch of the CDC’s 2021 ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ marks the tenth year of this lifesaving awareness campaign. The campaign profiles real people with serious health conditions caused by smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Over the past decade, the CDC estimates that the ‘Tips’ campaign has inspired more than 16.4 million smokers to make a quit attempt, with more than one million of them quitting for good.

“Today also marks the release of a very special edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, featuring the critical roll tobacco cessation quitlines play in helping Americans get the help the need to quit. Quitlines are proven to be an important part of our nation’s public health effort in helping people quit but in order to ensure quitlines can continue to reach smokers ready to quit and can continue to innovate, robust funding investments in cessation are needed at the federal and state levels. It is vitally important that when people call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, someone is on the other end of the line to help smokers who are ready to quit. State governments should also increase investments in tobacco prevention and cessation funding. Our 2021 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report showed only 14 states invested more than $5 per smoker in their state quitline.

“Smoking still remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. While the lives lost from tobacco use each and every year is sobering, the harms of tobacco use extend beyond this. Sadly, for each person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes complications, preterm birth, depression, anxiety and vision loss. Smoking also puts people at risk of severe disease from the virus that causes COVID-19, including hospitalization, ventilation and death.

“Quitting is perhaps now more important than ever, yet smoking is a serious addiction. While most people know quitting smoking is the best thing to do for their health, quitting is difficult. Despite most smokers wanting to quit, only about one in 10 smokers successfully quit each year. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life. Ensuring everyone can access the encouragement and support needed to overcome their tobacco addiction, including access to evidence-based treatments, is critical. For those inspired to quit, the American Lung Association stands ready to support them with proven quit smoking methods, available through our Lung HelpLine as well as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

“Seeing the success of this campaign over the past decade, it’s clear that campaigns like ‘Tips’ need to be sustained into the future. The Lung Association thanks the CDC for continuing this inspiring and lifesaving campaign and urges the federal government to increase funding for CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health to $310 million in fiscal year 2022 to ensure robust investments in the campaign continue.

“Finally, we also want to commend the ‘Tips’ campaign participants for having the courage to tell their stories of the long-term health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Though sharing their stories, they have inspired millions of people to seek help to overcome tobacco addiction.”                                      

Learn more about tobacco cessation, including the American Lung Association's Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA and proven-effective quit smoking program Freedom From Smoking® at Lung.org/ffs. For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco use and quitting smoking, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
312-801-7628
[email protected]

No upcoming events near you