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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

"We in the faith community spend too much of our time burying mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who are victims of tobacco addiction." [NATIONAL FAITH LEADER]

Faith communities across the country are encouraging their smoking members to quit for good, so they can be around for their families and friends. Faith leaders were moved to action after seeing ads developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign. These dramatic commercials feature stories from real people around the country who have been harmed by tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke.

"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."

"The death and disease caused by tobacco is not a Christian issue, a Muslim issue, or a Jewish issue but a human issue. It's a serious challenge to all faiths," said [NATIONAL FAITH LEADER]. "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 the health problems that can occur from smoking.

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 a year in the United States. They are also among the main causes of early disability.1

  • For every person who dies from smoking, 30 more suffer from illnesses related to smoking.1 These illnesses include1:
    • Asthma
    • Buerger's Disease
    • Cancer
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease and stroke

"I've been a practicing physician who's helped patients quit, and treated some of the terrible diseases in those who didn't quit in time," said Dr. Timothy McAfee, Director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "The message of the Tips campaign is simple: Quit smoking now. Or better yet — don't start. Studies show that the sooner you quit the better. And there is nothing you can do to add more years to your life than to quit smoking. Working with faith based groups can make such a difference. We have a real opportunity here to tip the scales."

The Tips ads appear on TV and radio, in print, and online in English and Spanish. In addition, CDC has a Web site dedicated to the campaign. The site, (or for Spanish), contains free resources to help smokers quit, as well as information about each Tips participant.

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. Tips campaigns in 2013 and 2014 expanded on the success of the first campaign. The 2012 effort inspired an estimated 1.6 million Americans to make an attempt to quit smoking, of which at least 100,000 people are expected to remain quit.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. 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 2014 Apr 26].
  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 [cited 2014 Apr 24].