CDC’s successful Tips From Former Smokers campaign returns on March 23

Today, a new round of straightforward ads kicks off the ninth year of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign. Since 2012, the Tips campaign has profiled real people who are living with serious long-term health effects due to smoking cigarettes and secondhand smoke exposure.

New ads this year also show the impact of smoking on family members. Caring for a loved one with a smoking-related illness can affect the caregiver’s life in various ways, including their ability to work and maintain good physical and mental health.

“These powerful new stories from former smokers illustrate the impact of living with real-life health consequences from smoking and how their illnesses affect their loved ones,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “We are thankful to these brave individuals for sharing their stories, and we are proud to continue the Tips campaign which has helped so many people quit smoking.”

The new ads highlight the harms of smoking, including its damage to the people smokers love

  • Geri M., age 58, has smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and needs constant oxygen to help her breathe. She had to quit her job as a mail carrier because the activity became too difficult.
  • Michael F., age 57, has smoking-related COPD and relies on oxygen to help him breathe. He had to quit working at age 51 because of his illness. As COPD forces him to give up more and more of the activities he once loved, his world keeps shrinking.
  • Rebecca C., age 43, lost all five toes on her right foot to Buerger’s disease, a smoking-related condition that cut off the blood supply to her foot. She finally quit smoking before the disease damaged other parts of her body.
  • Tonya M., age 49, was diagnosed with heart failure at 38. She had to have a mechanical pump inserted inside her chest to help her heart pump blood throughout her body.
  • Asaad M., age 25, put his young life on hold to care for his mother, Leah, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer from smoking.
  • Denise H., age 66, has spent more than 30 years caring for her husband, Brian, featured in previous Tips ads, who suffers from multiple health conditions as a result of his smoking.

Tips ads will run March 23 through October 4 on national cable and network television, streaming radio, and online. Hard-hitting mass media campaigns are scientifically proven to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and to motivate people who smoke to quit for good. During 2012-2018, more than 16.4 million people who smoke have attempted to quit and approximately one million have successfully quit because of the Tips campaign.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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