CDC’s Tips® campaign led 1 million U.S. adults to quit smoking during 2012–2018

Also inspired 16.4 million quit attempts

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 27, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Findings from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published in Preventing Chronic Disease show that CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign led more than 1 million U.S. adults to quit smoking and an estimated 16.4 million U.S. adults to attempt to quit smoking during 2012–2018.

The 1 million quits (people who stopped smoking for at least a year) and the 16.4 million quit attempts (people who stopped smoking for 1 day or more during a 3-month period) mark a milestone for Tips—the first federally funded anti-smoking ad campaign.

“The Tips campaign effectively highlights the real-life consequences of smoking in a way that statistics cannot,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. “Personal stories from former smokers about the impact smoking has had on their lives have served an important role in helping others to quit.”

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year. For every person who dies because of cigarette smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Tips campaign inspires people to quit smoking

To assess the campaign’s impact on quit attempts and sustained quits, CDC analyzed data from a nationally representative longitudinal survey of U.S. adults who smoked cigarettes during 2012–2018. Tips campaign exposure was determined by calculating past 3-month cumulative campaign television ad exposure combined with individual survey responses.

Researchpdf iconexternal icon shows that emotionally evocative, evidence-based campaigns like Tips are effective in raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and helping people who smoke to quit. When the campaign airs, calls to quitlines increasepdf iconexternal icon.

“Hard-hitting campaigns like Tips are great investments in public health,” said Letitia Presley-Cantrell, PhD, acting director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “As part of a comprehensive approach, these campaigns can help reduce the considerable burden of disease and death caused by smoking in the United States.”  

Tips is cost-effective and saves lives

In March 2012, CDC launched the Tips campaign, which shows real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from cigarette smoking and seco­ndhand smoke exposure. Through the campaign, people share compelling stories about their smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll these conditions have taken on them. The campaign also features nonsmokers who experienced life-threatening episodes as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke,and family members affected by their loved one’s smoking-related illness.

In addition to the harm it does to people’s lives, cigarette smoking also has a significant impact on the U.S. economy. Smoking costs more than $300 billion a year—including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.

By helping people to quit smoking, Tips saves lives and helps reduce smoking-related costs. For more information on the Tips campaign, including links to the ads and resources to quit smoking, visit


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: August 27, 2020