CDC Launches National Media Campaign

Storytelling is Focus of Education Campaign’s Efforts to Help Arkansas Residents Quit Smoking

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is airing a second series of ads that tell the stories of individuals who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The newest ads in the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign share how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.  In Arkansas, 4,900 residents die every year from smoking-related diseases.

The new ads, which aired April 1, and will continue through June 23, candidly discuss the losses from smoking and gains from quitting by featuring smoking-related health conditions including:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Severe adult asthma
  • Complications from diabetes including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and amputation

The new ads also include people from population groups that were not included in last year’s ads, including American Indian/Alaska Native, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. Smoking rates among these groups are higher than in the overall population.

“More than 440,000 Americans lose their lives to smoking-related diseases each year. And despite the known dangers of tobacco use, nearly one in five adults in the United States still smoke, while over 1,000 youth under 18 become new daily smokers. These ads are effective in bringing to life the devastating effects of smoking, and helping people quit and never start,” reports Dr. Gary Wheeler, interim medical director for the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. “We cannot wait any longer to help people quit smoking.  As a doctor, I know all too well the terrible toll of smoking.”

Arkansas smokers are encouraged to call 1-800-QUIT NOW, a toll-free number to receive free motivational counseling with a trained Quit Coach® and free nicotine replacement therapy medications such as gum, lozenges and patches. The Quitline is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Women who are pregnant are eligible for a special program that provides additional benefits.

Click to learn more about the campaign, view personal stories and to watch the spots.