CDC: 104K people quit smoking due to ad campaign

A government advertising campaign led 104,000 Americans to quit smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In addition, 1.8 million people attempted to quit smoking as a result of the 2014 ad campaign, the CDC said, citing survey results published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. 

The ad campaign features former smokers talking about health problems they suffered due to smoking, including cancer and strokes.

The 2014 campaign only ran for some months of the year, and the CDC is pushing for funding for a year-round campaign. 

“CDC’s Tips campaign has helped at least 400,000 smokers quit smoking for good since 2012,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.  “Tips is also extremely cost-effective and a best buy, saving both lives and money. With a year-round campaign we could save even more lives and money.”

Officials also said the program is needed to counteract the influence of the tobacco industry. 

“The Tips campaign is an important counter measure to the $1 million that the tobacco industry spends each hour on cigarette advertising and promotion,” said Corinne Graffunder, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The money spent in one year on Tips is less than the amount the tobacco industry spends on advertising and promotion in just 3 days.”

The CDC says smoking kills about 480,000 Americans per year and costs $170 billion in direct healthcare costs and $156 billion in lost productivity.

- This post was updated March 25 at 1:37 p.m.