The online and tv advertisements featuring former smokers and their current health conditions, known as TIPS, is paying off! More than 1.8 million Americans tried to quit smoking in 2014 as a result of a federal anti-smoking ad campaign and 104,000 quit for good.  The success rate of the 3 year old campaign still appear strong.

Attractive man breaking cigarette representing quit smokingThe CDC launched its Tips From Former Smokers (TIPS) national tobacco education campaign in 2012, by running ads for 12 straight weeks. The nine-week 2014 campaign aired ads in two phases, from Feb. 3 to April 6 and from July 7 to Sept. 7. The 1st phase of the 2014 campaign mainly featured ads from the 2012 and 2013 campaigns. The 2nd phase centered on new ads highlighting smokers and their tobacco-related health problems, such as cancer, gum disease, stroke and premature birth.

About 80% of adult smokers surveyed said they saw at least one of the CDC’s ads in phase 2 of the 2014 campaign.
The TIPS campaign “has helped at least 400,000 smokers quit smoking for good since 2012,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. “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 money.”

Lung Cancer image of cigarettes in lungsCorinne Graffunder, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, called the TIPS campaign an important counterweight to the $1 million that the tobacco industry spends every hour on cigarette ads and promotion.
“The money spent in one year on TIPS is less than the amount the tobacco industry spends on advertising and promotion in just three days,” she noted in the release.

Smoking-related health problems cost the United States more than $300 billion a year. That includes nearly $170 billion in direct health care costs and more than $156 billion in lost productivity, according to the CDC.  Cigarettes are the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing about 480,000 people a year, the most recent Surgeon General’s Report said.

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