“After you have a lung removed, take short breaths.” “Allow extra time to put on your legs.” “Be careful not to cut your stoma while shaving.”
These are all tips from real people, whose stories of living with the effects of smoking-related diseases are featured in the groundbreaking “Tips from Former Smokers” ad campaign. The ads first appeared in select cities around the country earlier this year and have generated 200,000 additional calls to 1-800-QUITNOW, a portal that links callers to their state quit lines.
The television ads will appear in the Lawrence area starting July 30 on Knology cable and will direct viewers to the Kansas Tobacco Quitline, ksquit.org. Tobacco settlement dollars paid to air the $14,000 campaign, which will end Oct. 28.
Most people have a loved one whose life has been affected by smoking. Health Department Director Dan Partridge’s mother started smoking in 1942 because she wanted the ‘smoke break’ everyone else was taking.
“It took her 43 years to break her addiction, which began as a desire to fit in to the social conventions of the time,” he said. “We have a come a long way since 1942, but we still battle the message that smoking is ‘cool.’ This ad campaign is intended to help counter that perception.”
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 1,200 Americans every day. About 8.6 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease and each day, more than 1,000 youth age 18 and younger become smokers. Smoking-related diseases cost Americans $96 billion a year in direct health care expenses — a substantial portion of which come in the form of taxpayer-supported payments.
For more information on the campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/Quitting/Tips.