August 7, 2012

CDC’s Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads Headed For Round 2

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

If you are freaked out by the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's graphic anti-smoking ads on television, then prepare for more goosebumps.

The federal government said that this round of television ads worked so well that it plans to do another round next year, USA Today reported.

The ads ran for 12 weeks in spring and early summer, featuring smokers who have had the worst of the worst dealt to them due to their habit.

In one of the ads, 51-year-old Terrie is shown getting ready in the morning by putting on her false teeth, a wig, and a hands-free electrolarynx device.

The commercials feature people like Terrie who have felt the full-force consequences of smoking, generating 192,000 extra calls, the CDC said, which is more than double the usual volume.

The CDC put out a goal for the ads to get 500,000 people to try and quit smoking, and 50,000 to stop long term.

"The initial results suggest the impact will be even greater than that," Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told USA Today. "We do plan to do another (campaign) next year."

He said the amount the CDC spent this year pales in comparison with the $10 billion the tobacco industry spends to market its products.

While the government agency reports a strong feedback for the ads, not all of its was positive. Some saw the ads as grotesque and crossing a line.

The ads "are shocking, disgusting, and too provocative – and they've crossed the line," Joel Mathis wrote in a Scripps Howard News Service column. "The non-smoking majority is being subjected to an assault on our senses."

However, while some are disturbed by the ads, others have changed their ways and kicked the habit.

"I wanted to change my life now before it was too late," Christi Leigh Sims, a 42-year-old mother of two from Arlington, Texas, told USA Today. "I didn't want to look or live like that."

Sims said she was shocked into action by Terrie's ad, so in late March after it aired, she quit cold Turkey.