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Campaign Preview 2014

New TV Ads, New Stories for CDC's Tips From Former Smokers Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues its national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers(Tips)—with hard-hitting, new ads that show the harms caused by smoking.

Beginning July 7, 2014, ads will appear for 9 weeks across television, radio, billboards, and online media as well as in theaters, magazines, and newspapers. Ads will run on English and Spanish television.

July 2014 Tips Participants

The new ads feature seven real people whose lives have been permanently affected by smoking. All of the people featured in the Tips ad campaign hope their stories will help other smokers quit.

AmandaAmanda: Amanda started smoking in fifth grade, and by age 13 she smoked every day, even outside during Wisconsin's bitter cold winters. While in college, newly engaged—and still smoking a pack a day—Amanda learned she was pregnant. Her daughter was born 2 months early. Her tiny baby girl spent weeks in a hospital incubator. "I couldn't hold her much in those first weeks. It's time I'll never get back. Smoking took that from me," said Amanda.
Preview Amanda's Ad

BrettBrett: Brett lives in New Mexico and started smoking at age 16 to impress a girl. By his midthirties, he had gum disease—a danger for all smokers—where the tissues and bones holding Brett's teeth in place were breaking down. By age 42, he had to have most of his teeth removed, including 16 during one surgery. After trying several times to quit smoking, Brett finally succeeded. He now knows that he can't smoke even one puff, or he could relapse. Brett hopes that sharing his story will convince smokers to quit as soon as possible. "My wake-up call was losing most of my teeth," he says.
Preview Brett's Ad

BrianBrian: Brian was in good health, working in California, and managing his HIV, when his life changed dramatically. Smoking, combined with HIV, led to clogged blood vessels. At age 43, he had a blood clot in his lungs, a stroke, and surgery on an artery in his neck. "It took a stroke for me to actually stop smoking," said Brian. For months after the stroke, Brian had trouble speaking and reading. He couldn't work or even dress himself. Today, his right hand is still weak, so he can no longer work as a waiter or teach pottery classes.
Preview Brian's Video

FelicitaFelicita: With every bite she eats, Felicita remembers how smoking hurt her health. Felicita grew up in New York and started smoking at age 12. She smoked for 33 years but didn't realize that cigarettes added to her dental problems. Felicita developed gum disease and lost all her teeth by age 50. Today, Felicita loves being a nonsmoker, but she doesn't smile much anymore because she's embarrassed about having false teeth. "I feel like I destroyed my health and my appearance with cigarettes."
Preview Felicita's Video

RoseRose: Rose grew up in a small Texas town, and at age 13, she started smoking. Over time, she developed a two-pack-a-day cigarette addiction and nearly lost a foot because of clogged blood vessels. Before Rose could have surgery on her leg, a chest x-ray showed that she had lung cancer, which later spread to her brain. Two surgeries later, Rose stays in close contact with her cancer doctors. "I regret picking up smoking in the first place," said Rose.
Preview Rose's Ad

ShawnShawn: Shawn lives in Washington and started smoking at age 14 to fit in at a new school. In his midforties, a chronic cough and laryngitis turned out to be throat cancer. He endured 38 radiation treatments and finally quit smoking—but doctors were unable to save his larynx. He now has a stoma (opening) that allows him to breathe and a laryngeal implant that allows him to speak.
Preview Shawn's Ad

TerrieTerrie: Terrie lived in North Carolina and began smoking in high school. At age 40, she was diagnosed with oral and throat cancers and had her larynx removed. Terrie courageously fought cancer until her death at age 53 in the fall of 2013. She shares a powerful message in a new ad, filmed days before she passed away. More than anything, Terrie wanted to help motivate smokers to quit so they could avoid the pain and suffering that she went through.
Preview Terrie's Ad

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Smoking-Related Diseases in the 2014 Tips Campaign

Three new health conditions will be featured in the Tips campaign, with updated information available July 7 on the Tips Web site.

  • Smoking, Pregnancy, and Babies Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious problems for a mother and her baby. A baby may to be born too early, have a birth defect, or die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Even being around cigarette smoke can cause health problems for a mother and baby.
  • Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums that can affect the bone structure that supports the teeth. In severe cases, it can make a person's teeth fall out. Smoking is an important cause of severe gum disease in the United States. Smokers are three times more likely to have gum disease than nonsmokers.
  • Smoking and HIV Smoking is especially dangerous for people who are living with HIV. Smokers with HIV are more likely to develop the harmful consequences of smoking than people without HIV. These illnesses include cancer, heart disease, or stroke. They're also more likely to develop HIV-related infections than nonsmokers with HIV. These illnesses include thrush (a mouth infection) and Pneumocystis pneumonia, a dangerous lung infection.

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Tips Campaign Results

CDC launched the first Tips From Former Smokers campaign in 2012 to lower smoking rates and save lives. A CDC study published in The Lancet indicates that because of the campaign in 2012:

  • An estimated 1.64 million Americans tried to quit smoking.
  • At least 100,000 smokers who tried to quit are expected to stay quit.
  • An estimated 6 million nonsmokers talked with friends and family about the dangers of smoking.
  • An estimated 4.7 million additional nonsmokers recommended quit services to their friends and family.

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Smoking in the United States

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term health problems. For every smoking-related death, at least 30 people live with a smoking-related illness. The only proven strategy to protect yourself from harm is to never smoke, and if you do smoke or use tobacco products, to quit.

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