Tips Campaign Matte Article for Military Service Members and Veterans

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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 and the tobacco industry’s marketing to many communities. 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. 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.

Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults who serve in the military is higher than it is among the civilian population. During 2010-2015, more than 1 in 5 (21.6%) veterans in the United States reported currently smoking cigarettes. In 2018, 14.6% of veterans enrolled for care reported current cigarette smoking. In comparison, an estimated 12.5% of all U.S. adults currently smoked cigarettes in 2020.

Ethan B. is a military veteran who is sharing his story in this year’s Tips campaign. Ethan grew up seeing ads that made him think smoking cigarettes was “cool.” “I wanted to look cool and be cool,” Ethan said.

He 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.

Quitting Help

Veterans receiving health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can access the VA quitline at 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838).

Active duty and retired service members and their families can access cessation counseling, cessation medicines, quitlines, and other services through TRICARE coverage and U.S. Defense Department programs.


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