Impact of first federally funded anti-smoking ad campaign remains strong after three years
March 24, 2016 - 10:34 PM
The latest outcomes measuring the impact of CDC’s national tobacco
education campaign are as strong as those achieved in its first year,
and suggest that three years into the campaign, the ads were still
having a significant impact. More than 1.8 million smokers attempted to
quit smoking because of the nine-week-long 2014 Tips From Former Smokers (Tips)
campaign. An estimated 104,000 Americans quit smoking for good as a
result of the 2014 campaign. The survey results are published in the
March 17 release of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
Unlike the 2012 campaign, which aired for 12 consecutive weeks, the
2014 campaign aired in two phases, from February 3 to April 6 and from
July 7 to September 7. Phase 1 of the 2014 campaign ran ads primarily
from the 2012 and 2013 campaigns; Phase 2 contained new ads. Those new
ads featured people and their struggles with smoking-related health
issues, including cancer, gum disease, premature birth, and stroke
caused by smoking combined with HIV. About 80 percent of U.S. adult
cigarette smokers who were surveyed reported seeing at least one
television ad from Phase 2 of the 2014 campaign.
“CDC’s Tips campaign has helped at least 400,000 smokers quit smoking for good since 2012,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Tips is
also extremely cost-effective and a best buy, saving both lives and
money. With a year-round campaign we could save even more lives and
Tips, the first federally funded anti-smoking paid media
campaign, features former smokers talking about their smoking-related
illnesses. Smoking-related diseases cost the United States more than
$300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct health care
costs and more than $156 billion in lost productivity.
“The Tips campaign is an important counter measure to the $1
million that the tobacco industry spends each hour on cigarette
advertising and promotion,” said Corinne Graffunder, Dr.P.H., director
of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The money spent in one year on Tips is less than the amount the tobacco industry spends on advertising and promotion in just 3 days.”
The most recent Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress, called for airing effective messages such as the Tips
ads with high frequency and exposure for 12 months a year for a decade
or more. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease
and death in the United States, killing about 480,000 Americans each
For every American who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30
more suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. And while the
percentage of American adults who smoke is at the lowest level since the
CDC began tracking such data, there are still an estimated 40 million
adult smokers in the U.S. Surveys show about 70 percent of all smokers
want to quit, and research shows quitting completely at any age has
significant health benefits.
Tips ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit www.cdc.gov/tips
to view the personal stories from the campaign. The website includes
detailed assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute to
support smokers trying to quit. For more information on the Tips campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources, and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.
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