CDC gets real about tobacco with anti-smoking campaign
$54 million campaign uses former smokers with tobacco-related illnesses to spread its message.
In mid-March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched its newest anti-smoking advertising campaign and is getting real with graphic
images and commentary from 14 individuals stricken with tobacco-related illnesses and disabilities all before the age of 50.
The $54-million campaign dubbed "
Tips from Former Smokers
" is scheduled for a 12-week media run on various channels including mainstream television, radio, print, billboards, bus-shelter, as well as online
and mobile venues. In addition to the individuals who are already suffering from tobacco-related illnesses, three other people were chosen to be a part
of the advertising campaign talking about their experiences with tobacco and how they quit before it was too late.
Scarily, this $54 million campaign is only a drop in the bucket for the tobacco industry. According to
of the New York Times, the average ad spend for the tobacco industry is about the same price for the 12-week campaign as just two days of
consumer-facing commercial efforts.
How does the health industry compete against that?
Although the current number of smokers is on the decline, 38.8 percent of the United States population are still using tobacco products. It still
astounds me that even after all we know about the ramifications, tobacco use is still as prevalent in young people as ever. According to the U.S.
surgeon general's report published last week, at least two
youth or young adults become regular smokers each day and one in four high school seniors is a regular cigarette smoker.
In a post in November, I talked about
my astonishment with the rise of female smokers around the District. Again I am at a loss for the reasoning behind lighting up. With U.S. federal
government fighting back by way of the CDC it gives me hope that a 'shock' campaign such as this one could make a difference in someone's life and
possibly save some lives in the process.
Do you think the campaign will cause a splash or will it sink?
Ricki McCarroll (@RickiMac) is a digital account executive at Spectrum, one of the nation's leading
independent health and science communications agencies. A version of this article first appeared on Spectrum's
Full Spectrum Blog.