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 federally funded national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®)—with hard-hitting TV commercials that feature real people living with the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. The Tips campaign also tells the personal stories of family members taking care of loved ones living with a smoking-related illness or disability, as they share the impact smoking has had on all their lives.
The campaign ads, which air beginning on March 1, 2021, 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 2019, 27.2% of U.S. adults with any mental illness reported smoking cigarettes during the past month compared to 15.8% 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.
CDC launched the first Tips campaign in 2012 to lower smoking rates and save lives. As Tips enters its 10th year on air, the campaign has proven to be very successful. CDC estimates that from 2012–2018, approximately one million people successfully quit smoking and more than 16.4 million attempted to quit because of the Tips campaign.
“Smoking doesn’t just kill; it can disable, disfigure and rob people who smoke of their independence,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, PhD, MPH, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “While some of these ads can be difficult to watch, they show the challenges that real people face every day as a result of smoking in a way that statistics cannot. By providing information, resources, and motivation, the Tips® campaign has proven to be highly effective in helping people across the country quit smoking.”
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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