A mass media campaign has been launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to inform the public about the dangers of cigarette smoking and to offer advice on how to successfully get rid of this noxious habit. This nationwide campaign, "Tips from Former Smokers," hopes to touch the hearts of the public by featuring smokers who have suffered from various illnesses because of their chronic cigarette smoking habits. These advertisements show the ill effects of smoking which include; heart attacks, cancer, asthma, Buerger's disease, bouts of paralysis, amputated limbs and more. In addition, the advertisements also provide smokers with advice to help them quit and information on where to get free help for their smoking habits.
Using Personal Stories to Gain A Unique Perspective on the Damage That Smoking Can Do
The damage caused by smoking is given a compelling and unique perspective in the nationwide "Tips From Former Smokers" mass media advertising campaign. Because none of the people involved in the ads are actors, the public is given a glimpse rarely seen in the statistics regarding smoking related illnesses and deaths. These participants, all fairly young, have volunteered to share their true testimonials so that members of the public can see the devastating consequences of smoking firsthand.
Take, for example, Shane, a 30 something year old that developed throat cancer and had to have his larynx removed, or Brandon, a 20 something year old, who had both of his legs amputated because of complications from smoking. Another ad revolves around Suzy who became paralyzed after having a stroke that was caused by her smoking; in a cruel twist of fate, her son is now her one of her caregivers. These stories, and others, illustrate the harmful ways in which cigarettes can drastically affect the lives of the people who smoke them.
Investing in Good Health
For over 30 years, there has been a serious lack of federally funded mass media campaigns that educate the public to the dangers of smoking and that encourage quitting. In addition, resources for tobacco education are sorely lacking in the budgets of communities and states nationwide. People continue to invest in expensive cigars and even more expensive humidors for their cigars and continue to carry on like nothing needs to change.
This is unfortunate because it has been proven, with scientific evidence, that graphic and hard hitting campaigns are excellent vehicles when it comes to promoting smoking related information and advice. Therefore, it is very important to have campaigns like "Tips from Former Smokers" in order to counteract the the tobacco industry's own billion dollar adverting campaign in the United States.