Ten Years of Tips
CDC is celebrating 10 years since the Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®) campaign first hit the airwaves, inspiring millions of people to try to quit smoking. It was the first-ever federally funded national tobacco education campaign featuring real people telling their stories about their challenges of living with a smoking-related health condition and the importance of quitting for good.
One of the first ads featured a woman named Terrie H., who talked about how she gets ready for the day after the effects of treatments for throat cancer caused her to lose her teeth and hair, and to have a laryngectomy. To this day, the ad remains one of the most memorable and has motivated many people to try to quit smoking.
Over the years, the campaign features people suffering from a variety of diseases caused by smoking, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung and other cancers, heart disease and stroke, Buerger’s disease, and gum disease.
The people featured in the campaign could be your parents, grandparents, neighbors, or friends.
“The campaign shows that smoking doesn’t just kill; it can lead to many chronic diseases, disability, and could ultimately 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,” Kittner continued. “By providing information, resources, and motivation, for 10 years, the Tips® campaign has proven to be highly effective in helping people across the country quit smoking.”
Each of these people shared their stories with CDC for one reason: to motivate people who smoke to quit as early in life as possible. Their messages also help to reinforce people’s decision to never start. The Tips campaign makes quitting personal, and it works.
From 2012 to 2018, about 1 million people quit smoking because of Tips. In that same time, the campaign inspired another 16 million quit attempts and prevented 129,000 people from dying early. That meant more time for weddings, grandchildren, graduations, trips, and other important life events. Because of Tips, the country also saved an estimated $7.3 billion in smoking-related health care costs.
Quitting smoking for good can take many tries, but it can be done. If you’re one of the 16 million people who have tried to quit, let the faces of Tips inspire you to try again—as many times as it takes for you to be smokefree.
For every person who dies from smoking, at least 30 people, like those featured in the Tips ads, are living with a serious smoking-related disease. This can make life more challenging for family members, who often must put their plans on hold to look after their loved ones.
Whatever your reason for quitting, use it to inspire you when things get difficult. Your health will begin to improve almost as soon as you quit.
And luckily, there are more resources than ever to support you on your quit journey. On the Tips site, you’ll find organized, understandable web content where you can:
Resources to Help You Quit
Below are several free resources to help you in your quit journey. Remember to keep trying until you find one that works best for you. Make 2021 the year you finally quit for good!