CDC announces 100,000 Americans have quit smoking due to graphic ads

Font Size:

More than 100,000 Americans have quit smoking because of a $54 million dollar Centers for Disease Control advertising campaign, the CDC announced Monday.

According to a study released by the CDC, the agency’s “Tips From Former Smokers” national ad campaign, which ran from March 19-Jun 10, 2012 and featured graphic images and stories from former smokers living with smoking-related diseased and disabilities, caused an estimated 1.6 million smokers to attempt to kick the habit.

Obamacare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund allocated the money for the $54 million “Tips” 2012 campaign, which the CDC argues is an “important counter to the more than $8 billion the tobacco industry spends annually to make cigarettes more attractive and more available.”

The CDC said that some 200,000 Americans quit smoking following the three-month campaign. Researchers estimate that of that more than 100,000 will likely quit permanently.

According to the agency, the first federally-funded national media anti-smoking campaign surpassed its goal of 500,000 quit attempts and 50,000 successful quits. The study, which was published Monday in The Lancet, a medical journal, says that the campaign reached almost 78 percent of smokers and 74 percent of non-smokers.

An earlier report found that calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW doubled during the campaign. Visits to the “Quit Now” website were also five times higher than for the same 12-week period in 2011.

The agency aired it’s second round of “Tips” ads earlier this year and is slated to release the results of that push later this year. The CDC added that they are planning a third round of “Tips” ads in 2014.

“This study shows that we save a year of life for less than $200,” Tim McAfee, director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health and the lead author of the study, cheered in a statement. “That makes it one of the most cost-effective prevention efforts.”

Follow Caroline on Twitter