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Tips From Former Smokers 2013 Campaign

Tips From Former Smokers 2013 Campaign

In 2012, CDC launched the first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers (Tips). Tips ads were placed in a variety of media channels, showing people living with the real and painful consequences of smoking. The ads featured suggestions or "tips" from former smokers, such as how to get dressed when you have a stoma or artificial limbs, what scars from heart surgery look like, and reasons why people have quit smoking. The goal of the campaign was to encourage people to quit smoking.

The 2012 Tips campaign lasted 12 weeks and was very effective. Compared with the same 12-week period in 2011, overall call volume to 1-800-QUIT-NOW more than doubled during the Tips campaign, and visits to the Web site (www.smokefree.gov) increased by more than five times.

Now CDC is building on the success of the Tips campaign by launching a new round of advertisements scheduled for airing in April 2013. The campaign continues to raise awareness of the negative health effects caused by smoking and encourages smokers to quit and nonsmokers to protect themselves and their families from exposure to secondhand smoke. The Tips campaign will run through the early summer and includes TV, radio, print, PSA, billboard, and digital ads.

Why the Tips Campaign Is Important

Photo: Man lying in hospital bedBeginning with the publication of the first Surgeon General's report nearly 50 years ago, we have learned that smoking causes a wide variety of severe health problems. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke result in more than 440,000 deaths a year in this country and are also among the main causes of early disability. For every person who dies from smoking, another 20 live with illnesses related to smoking, such as COPD (a group of respiratory diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis) and asthma. Smoking can also make other health conditions—such as diabetes—much worse.

The new campaign focuses on how smoking can affect people's quality of life. "These ads will tell the stories of brave people struggling with the COPD and complications from diabetes – the kinds of smoking-related diseases doctors see every day," said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H, Director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "The commercials accurately show the devastating diseases that are completely preventable."

What Are the Main Messages of the Campaign?

Photo: Woman using inhalerThe campaign's main messages are:

  • Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term health problems.
  • For every person who dies from a smoking-related illness, 20 more Americans live with an illness caused by smoking.
  • Now is the time to quit smoking, and if you need help, free assistance is available.

The campaign includes an ad focused on the effects of secondhand smoke exposure, as well as an emotionally compelling cessation ad. The campaign will expand upon the first campaign and include additional health conditions that were not featured in the first phase of the Tips campaign, such as:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Asthma in adults.
  • Smoking-related complications in a person with diabetes.

The 2013 Tips campaign also expands the population groups to include American Indian/Alaska Native and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) populations.

Watch the New Videos From Tips From Former Smokers

Following are the commercials you may see on TV. You can also view the radio, print, PSA, billboard, and digital ads that have been developed by visiting the Tips From Former Smokers Web site.

In high school, Terrie was a cheerleader who competed on the North Carolina cheer circuit. Because a lot of her friends smoked, Terrie soon found herself lighting up in social settings. In 2001, Terrie was diagnosed with oral cancer and with head and neck cancer. Today, Terrie speaks with the aid of an artificial voice box inserted in her throat.

This is Terrie's second appearance in the Tips campaign. Read more about Terrie.

Michael is an Alaskan Native and member of the Tlingit tribe. He is also a Veteran. He was addicted to cigarettes for most of his adult life. At 44, he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He ignored the symptoms until age 52, when he awoke gasping for air. He quit smoking that day. His doctor gave him 5 years to live. Since then, Michael has had to have part of his lungs removed to improve his breathing.

Read more about Michael.

Bill is a 40-year old with diabetes whose concurrent smoking led to heart surgery, blindness in one eye, amputation, and kidney failure.

Read more about Bill.

Nathan, an American Indian and member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, has never smoked cigarettes. For many years he worked at a casino that allowed smoking. The exposure to secondhand smoke triggered asthma attacks. It also caused him to develop serious infections that eventually led to permanent lung damage called bronchiectasis.

Read more about Nathan.

Tiffany was 16 when she lost her mother to lung cancer. Despite that, Tiffany started smoking in her late teens. A lot of friends at her school smoked, and she wanted to fit in. She quit smoking in 2012, when her own daughter turned 16. Tiffany didn't want her daughter to think that her Mom loved cigarette smoking more than she cared about her.

Read more about Tiffany.

All of the people featured in the campaign hope their stories will help other smokers quit. As Bill says, "Make a list. Put the people you love at the top. Put down your eyes, your legs, your kidneys, and your heart. Now cross off all the things you're OK with losing because you'd rather smoke."

More Resources—You Can Quit Today!

The following Web sites provide free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking. If you want to quit, here's where you can find help:

  • Tips Web site: provides more information about the Tips campaign, including additional videos and links to podcasts by participants.
  • CDC's Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site: CDC's one-stop shop for information about tobacco and smoking cessation.
  • BeTobaccoFree.gov is the Department of Health and Human Services' comprehensive Web site providing one-stop access to tobacco-related information from across its agencies. This consolidated resource includes general information on tobacco as well as federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.
  • Smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking.
  • Women.smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of women trying to quit smoking.
  • Quit Tobacco: Make Everyone Proud is a Department of Defense-sponsored Web site for military personnel and their families.
  • Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users: Quit Smoking is an easy-to-read guide issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • http://teen.smokefree.gov is a site devoted to helping teens quit smoking.
  • http://teen.smokefree.gov/smokefreeTXT.aspx is a teen texting site.
  • http://espanol.smokefree.gov is a Spanish-language quitting site
  • www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/index.htm provides more useful information from CDC to help you quit.
  • American Heart Association Web site is the home page for the American Heart Association and provides useful information about the tobacco and heart health.
  • Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.
 

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  • Page last reviewed: April 1, 2013
  • Page last updated: April 1, 2013
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