Navigation Links
Campaign Has Smokers Listening to Smoking's Victims

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A frank and graphic nationwide media campaign to motivate smokers to quit seems to be working, say researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The public health initiative, known as Tips From Former Smokers, was launched by the CDC in March and ran until mid-June. A dozen or so ex-smokers offered very personal and often harrowing testimonials on the devastating health consequences that can result from years of tobacco use. Participants were featured in multiple 30-second televised public service announcements, radio commercials and web and print ads.

Now, a post-campaign assessment of its impact on a target audience of 18- to 54-year-old smokers suggests that the effort did indeed boost awareness -- and perhaps even changed behavior.

No one is more pleased by, or proud of, such evidence of the campaign's success than participant and former smoker Terrie Hall.

"When they asked me to be a part of this campaign I had no idea of the impact that they would have," Hall said. "I had no idea of the overwhelming and unbelievable experience that I would have with it. I feel like the CDC really did an outstanding job of telling people what it's like if you smoke, and what can happen if you smoke."

For this Lexington, N.C., resident, what happened was cancer.

"I've had it 10 times now," Hall said, her voice stressed and labored as a permanent consequence of throat cancer and the laryngectomy surgery she had many years ago. The surgery resulted in the removal of her voice box (larynx), meaning that today she must breath through an opening in her neck and speak with mechanical assistance.

"Everything that's happened to me has come from the fact that I smoked cigarettes," Hall said. "That means that every day I have to put in my teeth, I have to put in a talking device in my neck, I have to wear a wig. That's how I get ready for my day. I've had a lot of radiation, and I'm still going to chemotherapy. It's all taken quite a toll on me."

Putting a face to smoking-related disability -- in a way that people can relate to -- was the campaign's goal.

"What we decided to do was essentially try to give the American people more of a real feeling of what's behind the statistics," said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

The campaign did just that by "giving a voice and a strong sense of humanity to people who have been the victims," McAfee said. "Not helpless, pathetic victims, but people who want their stories told about what's been happening over the last 50 years, and who don't want to see this happen to anybody else."

During the campaign, the CDC saw a huge uptick in the percentage of American smokers who called in to their 1-800-QUIT-NOW information line.

Nearly 158,00 calls came in during the equivalent time frame in 2011. During the 2012 campaign, however, that number skyrocketed to more than 365,000, amounting to a 132 percent jump in calls.

The national online portal ( saw an even bigger relative rise in traffic. Roughly 630,000 people visited the site at some point during the campaign, compared with fewer than 120,000 visitors during the same period in 2011 -- a whopping 428 percent increase.

Hall and the campaign also reached out to 10,000 students to provide a cautionary tale of what can happen when you light up.

Peer pressure, Hall said, caused her to pick up her first cigarette at age 17. And addiction turned her into a two-packs-a-day smoker, a habit she hung on to for 23 years.

"When I was a teenager there was no tobacco education," Hall said. "I wish I had had someone like me come visit my school and show me how tobacco would affect my body. Maybe I would have made a more educated decision about what I would do with cigarettes."

Danny McGoldrick, the Washington, D.C.-based vice president for research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, praised the CDC effort.

"We've been advocates of this kind of media campaign for years," McGoldrick said. "We know this works."

He added, however, that "it's not enough to run a campaign like this just 12 weeks a year, when the tobacco companies spend 52 weeks a year making their case to keep smokers smoking."

McAfee, from the CDC, said the agency is planning a second campaign in 2013 highlighting seven or eight former smokers.

More information

For more on the Tips From Former Smokers campaign, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director, Office on Smoking and Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Terrie Hall, Tips From Former Smokers campaign participant; Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, D.C.

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 'Music Makes It Better' Campaign Launches with Justin Bieber, Victoria Justice, and The Band Perry
2. SEARCH study shows 1-year drop in HIV virus levels in rural Ugandan parish after campaign
3. Obese Workers Health Care Costs Top Those of Smokers
4. Half of Young Cigarette Smokers Also Smoke Pot: Survey
5. Exercise helps smokers to quit smoking, to remain smoke-free and to reduce the risk of death
6. Joint-Replacement Failure Rate Higher for Smokers: Studies
7. Hot Flashes More Likely for Certain Smokers, Study Says
8. Use of Smokers Lungs for Transplant Has Pros, Cons
9. Genes Might Help Some Smokers Kick the Habit
10. Graphic warning labels improve smokers recall of warning and health risks related to smoking
11. Graphic Cig Pack Labels Make Smokers Think, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Campaign Has Smokers Listening to Smoking's Victims
(Date:11/26/2015)... Toronto, ON and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... ... ... announced today the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in ... CTs, ultrasounds, X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery ... to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of ... and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating ... our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment ... day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final Cut ... Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, with ... users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all within ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center ... reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise ... a specific piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment quality ... from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is ... via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... report to their offering. ... author the present scenario and growth prospects of the ... market size, the report considers revenue generated from the ... copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine devices ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 Un nuevo ... Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para ... Research . --> Clinical Cancer Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: