Get Inspired to Quit With the Tips From Former Smokers Campaign
Tonya M. explains in a new Tips From Former Smokers® TV ad that smoking took a toll on her health and became a challenge for everyone in her family, something she had never thought about before. “It went from me being their caregiver, to my husband and kids being mine,” Tonya says. “And that’s definitely not what I wanted for them. Nobody wants that for their kids.”
Tonya started smoking as a teenager because friends who smoked pressured her to try it. At the age of 16, she was smoking almost a pack of cigarettes a day. By the time her heart issues first surfaced, she was regularly smoking two packs a day. Tonya was diagnosed at age 38 with heart failure because of smoking. She had to have open-heart surgery and a battery-operated heart pump inserted in her chest to keep blood flowing through her body. She now relies on her family for help doing many of the things she can no longer do.
Tonya is just one of more than 40 people who describe in their own words how smoking has impacted their lives and those around them. Each person featured in the Tips campaign wants people who smoke to hear their message: Quit now—for your health, for your loved ones, and for your future.
Launched in 2012, the Tips campaign is celebrating 10 years of helping people quit smoking and live healthier lifestyles. Tips features the stories of real people who are living with serious, long-term health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. The campaign also shares stories from family members who devote their lives to caring for someone with a smoking-related condition.
New Tips TV ads released in February 2022 feature the following stories:
- Michael F. lives with smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Michael explains that his wife used to smoke too, but she quit to stay healthy enough to help take care of him.
- Tonya M. developed heart failure from smoking cigarettes, and she relies on a surgically implanted heart pump to keep her alive. Now Tonya’s husband and kids take care of her, something she never considered when she first started to smoke.
- Rebecca C. smoked cigarettes and got Buerger’s disease, which cut off blood flow to her right foot. Only after the surgery to remove all five toes on her right foot did she fully understand how smoking could change her life.
Tips is also bringing attention to the dangers of menthol cigarettes with a new radio ad featuring Geri M. Geri, who is African American, began smoking menthol cigarettes at age 20 and today lives with COPD. Geri’s experience with menthol cigarettes is not uncommon among African American adults. Historically, the marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes have been targeted heavily toward African Americans through culturally tailored advertising images and messages.
African American adults have the highest percentage of menthol cigarette use compared to other racial and ethnic groups. They are more likely than others to start smoking menthol cigarettes and continue smoking because of menthol cigarettes. Smoking any kind of cigarette, including menthol cigarettes, is harmful and increases risk for serious illness and early death.
Although Geri struggles with her COPD, she tries to stay positive. In Geri’s own words, “If I can help at least one person quit, then I’ve turned my curse into a blessing.”
From 2012 through 2018, CDC estimates that as a result of the Tips campaign:
- More than 1 million people successfully quit smoking and more than 16 million people attempted to quit smoking.
- People who smoke who have seen Tips ads report greater intentions to quit within the next 30 days, and people who smoke who have seen the ads multiple times have even greater intentions to quit.
- Tips helped prevent an estimated 129,000 early deaths and helped save an estimated $7.3 billion in smoking-related healthcare costs.
- For every $3,800 spent on the campaign, an early death is prevented.
The single best way you can protect yourself from the health risks of cigarette smoking is to quit.
Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term health benefits at any age, no matter how long or how much you have smoked. Quitting smoking can:
- Improve health and quality of life.
- Lower the risk for 12 types of cancer.
- Lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Benefit people already diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD.
- Benefit the health of pregnant women and their fetuses and babies.
We understand that quitting can be hard and you may try more than once before you successfully quit. Good news! Finding the help you need is now easier than ever.
Starting in 2022, you can text QUITNOW to 333888 to enroll in a free text messaging service. Spanish-speakers can text DÉJELO YA to 333888. You will receive text messages with quit-smoking advice, tips, and motivating messages for becoming smokefree and living a healthier life.
You can also find free resources on the Tips website to help you quit and keep you motivated:
- Visit the Tips Quit Guide for practical advice and tips for quitting.
- Find out how calling a quitline can help you succeed.
- Learn about using quit-smoking medicines.
- Get support through texting programs, apps, and social media.
The Tips campaign is about people—people who want to quit smoking and the people who love them. Tips is about YOU. Join millions of other Americans who have been inspired to quit smoking by the Tips campaign.
- quitSTART appexternal icon—tips, information, and challenges to help you quit
- 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (Español)
- 1-800-838-8917 (中文)
- 1-800-556-5564 (한국어)
- 1-800-778-8440 (Tiếng Việt)