March 15, 2012 by staff
Anti-smoking Campaign, Health officials announced on Thursday a graphic antismoking campaign designed to jolt Americans into putting out their cigarettes. The national advertising campaign will include billboards and print, TV, radio and online ads showing Americans whose smoking has caused dire health consequences, including amputation, tracheotomy, paralysis and heart surgery.
The CDC hopes the shocking images will motivate at least 50,000 Americans to quit smoking. Despite increasing taxes on tobacco and more widely adopted smoking bans, the U.S. smoking rate has stalled at about 20% percent in recent years, and the agency thinks the public needs a prod.
“This is incredibly important. It’s not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told the AP.
The 12-week campaign, called “Tips From Former Smokers,” begins Monday and is the first national advertising push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency is investing $54 million in the effort – a fairly humble sum, relatively speaking. “This is really a David versus Goliath fight. The tobacco industry has spent more than $100 billion on marketing and promotion. They continue to spend more than $10 billion a year. That’s a million dollars every hour,” Frieden told Reuters.
One of the print ads features Shawn Wright, 50, of Washington, who had to undergo a tracheotomy after suffering head and neck cancer. The ad shows Wright shaving around the gaping hole in his neck through which he speaks and breathes.
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