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These New Ads Might Shock You – They Might Also Save Your Life | Health

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These New Ads Might Shock You – They Might Also Save Your Life
These New Ads Might Shock You – They Might Also Save Your Life

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a national education campaign that depicts the harsh reality of illness and damage real people suffer as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.  The ads show the toll smoking-related illnesses take on real people and their loved ones.  Viewers in Arkansas will see the ads from March 19 to June 9.

The “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign features compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities.  The ads focus on smoking-related lung and throat cancer, heart attack, stroke, Buerger’s disease, and asthma.  Smokers who quit also pass along tips about what helped them to succeed.

“Though they may be tough to watch, the ads show real people living with real, painful consequences from smoking,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “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.”

Despite the known dangers of tobacco use, nearly one in five adults in the United States and 22.9 percent of adults in Arkansas smoke.  More than 4,900 Arkansans lose their lives each year to smoking-related diseases, and for every one person who dies another 20 live with a smoking-related illness.  Still, nearly 70% of smokers say they want to quit, and half try to quit each year.

According to Arlene Rose, branch chief for the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, “The campaign will serve as an important counter to the nearly $10.5 billion spent annually by the tobacco industry promoting their products.”

"It is important for Arkansans to understand that smoking causes immediate damage to the body, which can lead to long-term suffering," said Rose.  "The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline offers free nicotine replacement therapy, such as lozenges and gum, while supplies last.  We urge tobacco users in Arkansas to take advantage of this opportunity by calling the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW."

Many of the ads will be tagged with 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or the www.smokefree.gov website, which provides free quitting information. For more information on Arkansas tobacco control activities, please visit www.stampoutsmoking.com or www.healthyarkansas.gov.  For more information on the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign visit www.cdc.gov/quitting/tips.