New Anti-Smoking Ads Unveiled by CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has unveiled a new series of anti-smoking ads designed to appeal to people’s emotions. They follow anti-smoking ads released last year, which the CDC said had a strong impact across the country.

Last year’s graphic ad campaign featured the health consequences of smoking. According to the CDC, call volume to its national toll-free quit line, 800-QUIT-NOW, more than doubled while the ads ran. The hotline received an additional 192,000 calls, while the government’s smoking cessation website, www.smokefree.gov, received 417,000 new visitors—triple its previous traffic.

The new ads started airing on TV and radio on April 1 and will run for 12 weeks, HealthDay reports. The ads also will appear on billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines and newspapers.

They tell the stories of smokers whose lives were adversely impacted by smoking or by being exposed to secondhand smoke. One ad features a woman who was 16 when her mother died of lung cancer. The woman quit smoking so her own daughter would not suffer in the same way. In another ad, a man with diabetes whose smoking led to amputation, heart surgery, blindness in one eye and kidney failure, says, “Make a list. Put the people you love at the top. Put down your eyes, your legs, your kidneys and your heart. Now cross off all the things you’re OK with losing because you’d rather smoke.”

“This campaign is saving lives and saving dollars by giving people the facts about smoking in an easy-to-understand way that encourages quitting,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release. “This campaign is effective. The increase in calls to quitlines after last year’s campaign shows that more people are trying to quit smoking as a result of these ads.”

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