CDC Ad Campaign, 'Tips from Former Smokers,' Illustrates Harsh Realities

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Shawn, 51, diagnosed with throat cancer at 46, is shown with a stoma. Annette, 57, diagnosed with lung cancer at 52, reveals a long scar from having a lung removed. “Tips from Former Smokers,” a hard-hitting national ad campaign launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that depicts the healths risks of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, begins Monday, March 19, and will run for at least 12 weeks on television, radio, and billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers nationwide.

“Although they may be tough to watch, the ads show real people living with real, painful consequences from smoking,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. “There is sound evidence that supports the use of these types of hard-hitting images and messages to encourage smokers to quit, to keep children from ever beginning to smoke, and to drastically reduce the harm caused by tobacco.”

The ads will be tagged with 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or the web site, which provides free quitting information.

“We must do a better job educating people about the dangers of all tobacco products because, despite our efforts to date, one in five Americans is still smoking,” said Roy Herbst, MD, PhD, chair of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer, and chief of medical oncology at Yale University.

The task force will sponsor a policy session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 on Sunday, April 1, at 3:15 p.m. CT in room W178 of McCormick Place West titled “Challenging Conventional Cancer Care: The Untold Story of Tobacco's Effect on Cancer Biology, Treatment Response and Survival.” This Science Policy Session will offer attendees an analysis of the effects of tobacco on tumor physiology and cancer treatment, identify the complexities of both assessing tobacco use and providing cessation support to cancer patients, report on the current state of tobacco assessment in National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group clinical trials, and provide a framework for incorporating tobacco use into the design and interpretation of future cancer research.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 443,000 Americans each year. Cigarette smoking costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity each year. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease, and every day over 1,000 youth under 18 become daily smokers. Still, nearly 70% of smokers say they want to quit, and half make a serious quit attempt each year. The Tips from Former Smokerscampaign will provide motivation, information, and resources to help.

For more information, including profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources, and links to the ads, visit

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