Tips Campaign Matte Article for African American Communities

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CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers Campaign Airing a New Round of Hard-Hitting Commercials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign returns with new hard-hitting ads. The campaign features real people impacted by the serious long-term health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. The Tips campaign also tells the stories of family members who take care of a loved one living with a smoking-related disease.

Many of this year’s new ads include messaging about the harms of menthol cigarettes. Tobacco companies add menthol to commercial tobacco products to make them seem less harsh and more appealing to people who have never used cigarettes. People who smoke menthol cigarettes can be less likely to successfully quit than people who smoke non-menthol cigarettes.

Tobacco companies aggressively market menthol-flavored tobacco products to different groups of people, especially people who are African American. This marketing contributes to certain groups being more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than other groups.

Young people, racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+ people, women, people with a low income, and people with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than other population groups.

In 2020, 14.4% of non-Hispanic African American adults smoked cigarettes, while 12.5% of U.S adults overall smoked cigarettes. Smoking puts people at risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke. These are the three leading causes of death for African Americans. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Angie P. and Ethan B. are two new people featured in the Tips campaign. They share their stories in hopes that they can effectively communicate the risks of smoking and the harsh reality of the health problems that can occur.

Angie P. started smoking menthol cigarettes at age 15. Angie connected feeling better with the “cooling” sensation from smoking a menthol cigarette.

“I am feeling good about myself as a result from quitting smoking,” Angie said. “I looked in the mirror one day and I could see who I was. It’s like I’ve come into myself, and Angie is a really cool chick.”

Ethan B. grew up seeing ads that made him think smoking menthol cigarettes was “cool.”

“I wanted to look cool and be cool,” Ethan said.

Ethan suffered two strokes as a result of smoking. The strokes damaged his memory, and he sometimes forgets how to use everyday things, like a microwave. “I quit smoking, and then I became more conscious of how valuable and precious life is,” Ethan said. “I am not going to increase my odds of ever having another stroke.”

The new campaign ads air beginning February 5, 2024, and run through September 22, 2024.

“The Tips ads show the challenges real people face every day as a result of smoking in a way that statistics cannot,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, PhD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “We are grateful to all of the people featured in the Tips campaign for sharing their personal stories about how smoking has negatively impacted their lives. By providing information, resources, and motivation, the Tips campaign has helped save lives.”

CDC launched the first federally funded national tobacco education campaign, Tips, in March 2012. From 2012–2018, CDC estimates that approximately one million people successfully quit smoking and millions more tried to quit because of the Tips campaign.

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).


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