More than 100,000 Americans quit smoking due to national media campaign

September 9, 2013, GolinHarris DC

An estimated 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Tips From Former Smokers" national ad campaign, according to a study released by the CDC. As a result of the 2012 campaign, more than 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately following the three-month campaign, of which researchers estimated that more than 100,000 will likely quit smoking permanently. These results exceed the campaign's original goals of 500,000 quit attempts and 50,000 successful quits.

The study surveyed thousands of adult and nonsmokers before and after the campaign. Findings showed that, by quitting, former smokers added a total of about a third of a million years of life to the U.S. population. The Tips campaign, which aired from March 19 to June 10, 2012, was the first time a federal agency had developed and placed paid advertisements for a national tobacco education campaign. Ads featured emotionally powerful stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. The campaign encouraged people to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or visit a quit-assistance website. The study on the campaign's impact is published today by a , The Lancet.

"This is exciting news. Quitting can be hard, and I congratulate and celebrate with former smokers - this is the most important step you can take to a longer, healthier life," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "I encourage anyone who tried to quit to keep trying – it may take several attempts to succeed."

The study found that millions of nonsmokers reported talking to friends and family about the dangers of smoking and referring smokers to quit services. Almost 80 percent of smokers and almost 75 percent of non- smokers recalled seeing at least one of the ads during the three-month campaign.

Calls to the more than doubled during the campaign and visits to the website were more than five times higher than for the same 12-week period in 2011, according to a 2012 report.

"Hard-hitting campaigns like "Tips From Former Smokers" are great investments in public health," said McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, and lead author of the study. This study shows that we save a year of life for less than $200. That makes it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.

The Tips campaign is an important counter to the more than $8 billion the tobacco industry spends annually to make cigarettes more attractive and more available, including to youth and young adults. Investments in educational campaigns such as TIPS can help to save more lives and reduce health care costs. The Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund paid for the $54 million Tips 2012 campaign. A second set of Tips ads aired earlier this year and plans are under way for a new set of Tips ads in 2014. CDC will release initial results of the 2013 ads later this year.

This coming January 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, which concluded that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 1,200 Americans every day. More than 8 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Each day, over 1,000 youth under 18 become daily smokers. Smoking-related diseases cost Americans $96 billion a year in direct health care expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity each year, a substantial portion of which come in taxpayer-supported payments.

Explore further: CDC launches new batch of graphic anti-smoking ads

Related Stories

CDC launches new batch of graphic anti-smoking ads

March 28, 2013
(AP)—Government health officials are launching the second round of a graphic, emotional ad campaign designed to push smokers into kicking the habit.

US adult smoking rate dips to 18 percent, report says

June 18, 2013
Fewer U.S. adults are smoking, a new government report says. Last year, about 18 percent of adults participating in a national health survey described themselves as current smokers.

CDC: Ads spark huge increase to quit smoking line

March 30, 2012
(AP) -- More than twice as many people called a toll-free number to help them quit smoking a week after the launch of a $54 million ad campaign that shows graphic images of diseased smokers, federal health officials said ...

Study finds that smokers who try e-cigarettes to quit are younger and more motivated to quit

July 23, 2013
University of Hawaii Cancer Center Prevention and Control Program researchers Pallav Pokhrel, PhD and Thaddeus Herzog, PhD have found that smokers who use e-cigarettes as a tool to stop smoking tend to be younger and more ...

Smoking rates much higher among the mentally ill

February 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—The smoking rate for American adults with mental illness is 70 percent higher than for those without such problems, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

CDC launching graphic anti-smoking ad campaign

March 15, 2012
(AP) -- Tobacco taxes and smoking bans haven't budged the U.S. smoking rate in years. Now the government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with a graphic nationwide advertising campaign.

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.