THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new anti-smoking campaign using graphic images and smokers' horror stories will be launched next week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The essence of the campaign is having real smokers tell of the health consequences of their smoking habit, according to the agency. For the next 12 weeks, the ads will appear on television, radio, billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines and newspapers nationwide.
"The courageous individuals who volunteered to be in this campaign have lost lungs, legs, fingers and the ability to speak as a result of smoking," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a Thursday press conference. "We hope this campaign will be a wake-up call for potential smokers and nonsmokers."
An anti-smoking advocate praised the new effort.
"The campaign is long overdue," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"The scientific evidence is clear that highly charged ads depicting the health effects of smoking are among the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco use and reduce the number of kids who start to smoke," he said.
The CDC estimates that because of these ads, 500,000 people will try to stop smoking and about 50,000 will succeed.
At the conference, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Friedman said that "ads like these work. Hard-hitting ads convince smokers to quit, and reduce the likelihood that kids will start smoking."
Another organization applauded the new campaign, particularly the ads that focus on heart disease caused by smoking.
"About one-third of smoking-related deaths in the United States are linked to cardiovascular disease," said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. "The stories of two Americans included in this campaign, who suffered from a heart attack a
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