“Tips From Former Smokers” Campaign Doubled Calls to Quit Hotline

A national ad campaign, called “Tips From Former Smokers,” doubled the volume of calls to a nationwide smoking cessation hotline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The campaign generated almost 200,000 additional calls to the hotline over 12 weeks.

The campaign, which features people living with the effects of smoking-related diseases, appears to be even more successful than the government had hoped, HealthDay reports. The ads showed how smoking-related diseases change the way former smokers eat, dress and perform many daily tasks.

It ran from March 19 through June 10. The ad campaign directed smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a hotline that links them to their state quit line. The ads also sent 417,000 people to www.smokefree.gov, the federal smoking cessation website, triple the typical number of people who visit the website.

The CDC said these initial numbers indicate the campaign is on track to surpass the goal of helping at least 500,000 people to try to quit smoking, and 50,000 people to quit successfully long-term.

“These initial results suggest that the campaign will help even more people quit than we had hoped, exceeding our already high expectations,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a news release. “More than two-thirds of all smokers want to quit. People who smoke die sooner and live sicker. This campaign is saving lives and saving money.”

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