ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be launching hard-hitting ads for its 2014 “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign, the agency announced Tuesday. Beginning July 7, these ads will run nationwide for nine weeks on television, radio and billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers. The launch of these ads comes as CDC is also releasing new data on how many U.S. adults use some form of tobacco.
“These new ads are powerful. They highlight illnesses and suffering caused by smoking that people don’t commonly associate with cigarette use,” said CDC director Tom Frieden. “Smokers have told us these ads help them quit by showing what it’s like to live every day with disability and disfigurement from smoking.”
Participants include Amanda, a 30-year-old who smoked during pregnancy and whose baby was born two months early and then spent weeks in an incubator. According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of smoking, at least 1-in-10 women smoke during the last three months of pregnancy, making this powerful new Tips ad an important way to educate and connect women with smoking-cessation services.
“Amanda’s powerful story brings to life some of the health problems smoking during pregnancy can cause for unborn children,” said Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The best time to quit smoking is before you get pregnant, but quitting any time during pregnancy can help your baby get a better start on life.”
Two Spanish-language ads will run on national Spanish media channels. One features Rose, who has lung cancer, while a second features Felicita and Brett, who both lost their teeth to smoking.
Hard-hitting media campaigns like Tips have been shown to reduce tobacco use. More than 1-in-5 U.S. adults uses some form of tobacco regularly, according to CDC’s National Adult Tobacco Survey. The survey shows that while the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults every day or some days was 18% during 2012-2013, when factoring in use of all combustible products — such as cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, pipes and hookahs— prevalence increases to 19.2%. Including non-combustible tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, increases prevalence to 21.3%. When the survey factors in adults who say they use tobacco products rarely — that is, occasionally or intermittently — prevalence rises to 22.9% for combustible tobacco products and 25.2% for tobacco products overall.
The survey indicates that among adults who use tobacco products every day or some days, prevalence of cigarette smoking was 18%, smokeless tobacco was 2.6%, cigars and cigarillos was 2%, e-cigarettes was 1.9%, hookahs was 0.5% and pipes was 0.3%. Including those who say they use tobacco products rarely, prevalence was 3.8% for smokeless tobacco, 5.8% for cigars, little cigars and cigarillos, 4.2% for e-cigarettes, 3.9% for hookahs and 0.9% for pipes.
Consistent with other national surveys of cigarette smoking, these new data show that prevalence of any tobacco use was greater among men and among people who are less educated and who have lower household incomes.