The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) launched a groundbreaking campaign on March 15, 2012, to raise awareness of the human suffering caused by smoking and to encourage smokers to quit.
The campaign, called "Tips From Former Smokers,” profiles people who are living with the significant adverse health effects due to smoking, such as stomas, paralysis from stroke, lung removal, heart attack, and limb amputations. The advertisements underscore the immediate damage that smoking can cause to the body and feature people who experienced smoking-related diseases at a relatively young age. Some of the people were diagnosed with life-altering diseases before they were 40 years old.
These hard-hitting ads will help people quit, saving lives and decreasing the huge economic burden caused by tobacco use. The campaign will serve as an important counter to expenditures for marketing and promotion of cigarettes that exceed $1 million an hour—more than $27 million a day—in the United States.
The campaign also gives voice to three former smokers who provide tips on how they successfully quit. Each tip, such as throwing away their cigarettes and ashtrays, exercising, identifying a strong reason to quit, and "just keep trying,” has been shown to help. All of the ads contain a very clear and encouraging message to smokers that they CAN quit and that free resources are available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW
or accessing www.smokefree.gov
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States—killing more than 443,000 Americans each year. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease, and every day more than 1,000 youth under 18 become daily smokers.
What Are the Campaign Goals?
• Encourage smokers to quit and make available help for those who want it, including calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW http://www.smokefree.gov
or visiting www.smokefree.gov for free help
• Build public awareness of the immediate health damage caused by smoking and exposure to
• Encourage smokers not to smoke around others and nonsmokers to protect themselves and their
families from exposure to secondhand smoke
Who Is the Campaign Trying to Reach?
• The primary audience is adult smokers ages 18 through 54.
• Secondary audiences include parents, family members, and adolescents.
• Spanish-language materials (TV, radio, and print) have been developed to reach Spanish-speaking
What Are the Key Messages of the Campaign?
• Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term suffering.
• Now is the time to quit smoking.
• If you want help to quit smoking, free assistance is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW
What Media Vehicles/Channels Will Be Used?
Paid advertising and public service announcements (PSAs) will be placed in/on television, radio, print (magazines), newspapers, out-of-home (billboards, bus shelters), in-theater, and online through digital video, search, and mobile channels. Additional information and resources will be made available to the public through the Internet, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
How Long Will the Campaign Run?
The paid portion of the campaign will begin on March 19th and will run for 12 weeks. The PSAs, including an advertisement that specifically promotes quitting, will likely run longer.
What Resources Will Be Included on the Ads?
Most of the ads will be tagged with the national quitline number (1-800-QUIT-NOW
) and/or www.smokefree.gov
. The digital ads, including digital video, will be included on the CDC campaign Web site www.cdc.gov/quitting/tips