The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is airing a series of powerful television ads about quitting smoking. The ads feature compelling stories of former smokers suffering from smoking-related diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, amputation, complications from diabetes and cancer. The ads recommend that smokers contact their doctor for assistance with quitting or contact a quitline.
According to the CDC, last year’s national campaign with similar ads, greatly increased calls to quitlines around the country demonstrating that people are trying to quit smoking after they see the ads. Beginning in late May, the ads will include a new call to action, “talk with your doctor for help.” These ads will be on the air until the end of June and are likely to persuade patients to request cessation assistance from their physicians.
Physicians and other health care providers can play an important role in helping patients quit. Studies have shown that when health care providers assist with quitting, success rates increase dramatically.
The ads are emotional and describe life-changing illnesses and disabilities that have stricken smokers and even non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
Some of the stories in the ads include:
- Tiffany, a mother who quit smoking so she would see her daughter turn 17. She lost her own mother to lung cancer before she turned 16.
- Bill, a 40-year old diabetic whose smoking lead to blindness in one eye, heart surgery and amputation of one leg.
- Michael, a grandfather with COPD, struggling to tell his grandson he is dying.
The ads are funded by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and are running in all markets in New York State, with additional television coverage in Syracuse, Elmira, Watertown and Binghamton.
For more information on the ads, including profiles of the former smokers featured in the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.