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Good News: Those Scary “Tips From Former Smokers” Ads Are Actually Working!

Submitted by on September 9, 2013 – 12:15 pm5 Comments

Last year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention started running a bunch of new TV commercials called “Tips From Former Smokers.” They were designed to show people who smoke what they should expect their lives to be like later in life and used real-life smokers to drive the point home. And a lot of them were really, really disturbing. They looked like this:

But there is some good news in reference to those ads: They’re actually working! According to a recent report, more than 1.6 million smokers in the U.S. attempted to quit smoking as a result of the commercials. Although only about 100,000 people were actually able to kick their smoking habit after trying to quit, the ads clearly hit their key demographic and served their intended purpose. Furthermore, the CDC predicts that four out of every five smokers in the U.S. saw the ads when they were running on TV. So even if smokers haven’t tried to quit as a result of the ads yet, there is still a chance that they could do it in the near future. So overall, the “Tips From Former Smokers” commercials did what they were supposed to do.

“This is probably the biggest campaign that has been done in the world,” Dr. Tim McAfee, who studied the effect the ads had for the CDC, said recently. “It wasn’t the longest…but sending it to over 40 million smokers in a country of 250 million adults is fairly unprecedented.”

So does that mean that there will be more CDC ads focused on getting people to stop smoking? No word yet. But we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them on our TV screens. They are disturbing. But they really sell the idea of just how harmful smoking can be to your body. So we hope that the CDC continues to do what they can to get people to kick their nasty habit. If it’s saving lives out there, why stop now?

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