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Tips™ Campaign Matte Article for Faith Communities

This prewritten matte article about the Tips From Former Smokers™ campaign is ready for adaptation and use by churches and other faith communities.

Faith Leaders Unite in Support of CDC's Tips From Former Smokers™ Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing its national tobacco education campaign— Tips From Former Smokers (Tips)—with hard-hitting new TV commercials that feature real people who have experienced the harms caused by smoking. The ads underscore the immediate and long-term damage that smoking and secondhand smoke can do to the body. As a result, faith leaders across the country are encouraging their smoking members to quit for good so they can be around for their families and friends.

"We know what needs to be done to protect our kids and families from the toll tobacco takes, and we have a moral obligation to reduce smoking and protect everyone from exposure to secondhand smoke," said [INSERT NAME OF LOCAL OR NATIONAL FAITH LEADER]. "The death and disease caused by tobacco is a serious challenge to all faiths. We cannot stand idly by while tobacco use continues to be the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the country."

Tips Ads Make Hidden Suffering Visible

Sharing experiences of having cancer, a stroke, or a premature baby is a powerful way to communicate the risks and the harsh reality of health problems that can occur from smoking.

The Tips ads show that smoking causes a wide variety of severe health problems. Statistics show that Americans pay a high price in illnesses and deaths due to tobacco use. Cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke cause more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. They are also among the main causes of early disability.1

  • For every smoking-related death, at least 30 Americans live with a serious smoking-related illness.1 These illnesses include1:
    • Asthma
    • Buerger's disease
    • Cancer
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Diabetes complications
    • Gum disease (which may include losing your teeth)
    • Heart disease and stroke
    • Vision loss

"The message of the Tips campaign is simple: Quit smoking now. Better yet—don't start," said Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Studies show that the sooner a smoker quits, the better. Faith-based groups can encourage and support smokers in quitting. Working together, we have a real opportunity here to improve the health of those we love and care about."

CDC launched the first Tips campaign in 2012 to further lower smoking rates, save lives, and prevent the kind of suffering shown in the ads. The 2012 effort inspired an estimated 1.64 million Americans to make an attempt to quit smoking, of which about 100,000 are expected to stay quit for good.2

All of the people featured in the Tips ad campaign hope their stories will help other smokers quit. As one participant put it, "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."

For more information about the Tips campaign and resources for quitting smoking, visit For help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2015 Nov 20].
  2. McAfee T, Davis KC, Alexander RL, Pechacek TF, Bunnel R. Effect of the First Federally Funded U.S. Antismoking National Media Campaign. The Lancet 2013; 382(9909); 2003–11 [accessed 2015 Nov 20].