Tips® Campaign Matte Article for People With Mental Health Conditions
This prewritten matte article about the Tips From Former Smokers® campaign is ready for adaptation and use by journalists, bloggers, and other members of the media and for organizations’ newsletters.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing its national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®)—with hard-hitting TV commercials that feature real people who have experienced the harms caused by smoking. The campaign ads, which will air beginning in late March 2020, will again highlight the immediate and long-term damage caused by smoking, and encourage people who smoke to quit.
Smoking is more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, than in the general population. In fact, in 2018, 28.1% of U.S. adults with any mental illness reported smoking cigarettes during the past month compared to 16.3% of adults with no mental illness. The reason why persons with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke than those without these conditions is not fully understood. More research is needed to determine this.
No matter the cause, smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for depression and anxiety and quitting smoking are the best ways to feel better. Research has shown that, just like others who smoke, adults with mental health conditions who smoke want to quit, can quit, and can benefit from proven stop-smoking treatments.
Rebecca M., age 54, is one of the former smokers featured in CDC’s Tips campaign. She started smoking cigarettes at age 16. All of her family members smoked, and once she started, she was addicted. As an adult, she tried to stop, but like many people who smoke, soon discovered she had trouble quitting.
Rebecca was diagnosed with depression at age 33. She smoked when she felt depressed because she thought it might help her cope. When she tried to quit and couldn’t, she felt even more depressed. “That was just a vicious, vicious cycle,” she said. Rebecca knew her health was in danger when she developed severe gum disease—a risk for all people who smoke. To break this cycle, Rebecca knew she had to get care for her depression and quit smoking for good.
Rebecca was finally able to stop smoking and make a fresh, tobacco-free start. She wanted to be a good role model for her grandson, so she dedicated herself to a healthier lifestyle, started exercising, and went to therapy to get help for her depression.
As Rebecca started enjoying life as a nonsmoker, she felt encouraged by the positive changes and progress she had made. “I learned that I have the power to change. It is all within me,” said Rebecca.
“Most people who smoke want to quit. They don’t want to suffer or be a burden on their families,” said Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By showing how real people and their families are affected by smoking-related diseases, the Tips campaign can help motivate people to quit for good.”
CDC launched the first Tips campaign in 2012 to lower smoking rates and save lives. Results of a recent study show that from 2012–2018, CDC estimates that more than 16.4 million people who smoke have attempted to quit and approximately one million have successfully quit because of the Tips campaign.
Download a photo of Tips participant Rebecca M. to use with the matte article for people with mental health conditions. This photo is available for public use. Permission is not required.
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