Have you seen the recent anti-smoking ads featuring former smokers and the possible (or inevitable) affects of smoking? Many people have and a study published in The Lancet on Monday revealed that the ads are working.
In March 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an aggressive anti-smoking campagin called Tips from Former Smokers (Tips) with the aim to motivate smokers to quit. Every year, smoking kills more than 5 million people globally, including over 400,000 in the US. But for this new campaign the CDC focused not on mortality, but on quality of life. The advertisements are emotionally charged and thought provoking. They show real people with smoking-related illnesses or after affects.
“Hard-hitting campaigns like ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ are great investments in public health,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, and lead author of the study. “This study shows that we save a year of life for less than $200. That makes it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.”
According to the study, the ads may have prompted more than 100,000 Americans to give up smoking for good. The initial projection was 50,000 quits and 500,000 attempted quits--the study projected that 1.6 million smokers attempted cessation.
The CDC encourages people to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or visit a quit-assistance website.
Source: CDC, US Department of Health and Human Services.