CDC Launches New Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a new graphic anti-smoking ad campaign today featuring personal descriptions and photographs of people who have suffered effects from smoking.

The campaign, called “Tips from Former Smokers”, will include promotional materials that shows up-close, voyeuristic looks at victims of disease.

The new anti-tobacco campaign will last for 12-weeks and will feature prime-time television spots in which people describe how their lives were changed by smoking.

The CDC campaign will cost $54 million, a number in which the U.S. tobacco industry spends in an average two days of promotional efforts.

“We estimate that this campaign will help about 50,000 smokers to quit smoking,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden told The New York Times. “And that will translate not only into thousands who will not die from smoking, but it will pay for itself in a few years in reduced health costs.”

The diseases suffered by the 14 people in the ad campaign include lung, head and neck cancer, Buerger’s disease, asthma, heart attack and stroke.

“I think all too often smokers think, ℠I´ll just die a few years early.´ And that´s true. But there´s often a lot of pain and disability that goes with that. The smokers who volunteered to come forward and be in these ads show that reality,” Frieden told the Washington Post.

About 8 million Americans have smoking-related illnesses, and as many as 443,000 Americans die every year from smoking-related causes.

The U.S. surgeon general warned last week that one in four high school seniors is a regular cigarette smoker.  The surgeon general also said that about 80 percent of those who smoke during high school will continue to smoke as adults.

The new campaign comes just two weeks after a federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s plan to put graphic images covering half of the front and back of each cigarette pack to warn smokers of the danger.

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