The graphic marketing campaign featuring disturbing images of diseased smokers is being heralded as a success by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency, which spent $53 million to launch the campaign, says it will develop another set of ads to run next year with the same goal of preventing nonsmokers from lighting up and encouraging smokers to kick the habit.
The advertisements featured real cigarette smokers telling viewers how smoking caused them to suffer serious health problems including cancer, paralysis, lung removal and amputations. The television commercials ran for 12 weeks in the spring and early summer.
The campaign was the first time the federal government paid for a public service campaign focused on driving down the number of Americans who smoke. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tried to tackle the same issue by establishing strict new rules for tobacco companies who wanted to sell their products in the United States. The new guidelines required large, graphic images of smokers with tracheotomy tubes and dead bodies with messages like, “smoking kills.” The ruling was to go into effect last fall but tobacco companies fought the requirements arguing First Amendment violations. A federal judge blocked the effort last spring, though the FDA is expected to appeal.
The CDC said it hoped at least a half million people would see the ads and attempt to quit smoking, and 50,000 would actually quit. While the official results are not available, the agency said it received 192,000 calls to its 800-QUIT-NOW hotline, about twice as many who called before the campaign. The agency’s website, SmokeFree.gov, also received triple the new visitors.
Source: Fox News