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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

2013 Tips From Former Smokers Campaign Generates 150,000 calls to Quitlines and 2.8 Million Website

Thursday, September 19, 2013  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

CDC has published two important articles this month, showing the impact of the 2012 and 2013 Tips from Former Smokers campaigns on calls to quitlines, visitors to the website and quitting activity. The highlights from both articles are shown below and links to the full articles are provided.

In today’s copy of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (see page 763), CDC has published an article titled Impact of a National Tobacco Education Campaign on Weekly Numbers of Quitline Calls and Website Visitors — United States, March 4–June 23, 2013.

CDC Findings and Conclusions:

  • The 2013 Tips from Former Smokers campaign increased calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW by 75 percent and increased website visitors by nearly 38-fold… generating about 151,000 additional calls and almost 2.8 million additional website visitors above pre-campaign levels. Calls and website visitors quickly fell almost to pre-campaign levels once the campaign ended.
  • Emotionally evocative, hard-hitting tobacco education media campaigns can substantially increase calls to quitlines and visits to websites containing information on quitting smoking, which overtime would be expected to contribute to increases in quit attempts and successful cessation.
  • Media campaigns such as the Tips campaign might have an even greater impact if they were sustained at a high intensity for a longer time.

For more information, please see CDC’s Press Release and the September 20 MMWR article (page 763).

Earlier this month, CDC reported on the effect of the first federally funded US anti-smoking national media campaign, Tips from Former Smokers, which aired last year on March 19-June 10, 2012. The article is titled Effect of the first federally funded US antismoking national media campaign and appears in the Lancet Journal.

According to the study, CDC estimated that 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of the 2012 Tips campaign and more than 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately following the three-month campaign (of which more than 100,000 will likely quit smoking permanently).

Other interesting study findings include:

  • Almost 80 percent of smokers and almost 75 percent of nonsmokers recalled seeing at least one of the ads during the three-month campaign.
  • An estimated 4.7 million non-smokers recommended a cessation service (e.g., 1-800-QUIT-NOW) during the Tips campaign; and more than 6 million non-smokers talked with friends and family about the dangers of smoking because of the Tips ads.
  • The sustained attempts to quit as a result of the Tips campaign added from a third to almost half a million quality-adjusted life-years to the U.S. population.
  • The campaign is estimated to have saved a year of life for less than $200, making it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.

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