To the Editor:
I hope everyone has seen the “Tips From Former Smokers” tobacco prevention commercials now playing on television, radio, in newspapers and on billboards. These ads show real people telling real stories, giving voice to over eight million Americans who are suffering from smoking-related chronic diseases. They are hard-hitting and emotionally compelling. But they are exactly the kinds of commercials that are proven to support smokers to try to quit.
Last year, 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of the media campaign, and 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately following the three-month campaign. Almost 80 percent of smokers and almost 75 percent of non-smokers recalled seeing at least one of the ads and millions talked with loved ones about quitting.
Here in Indiana, calls to the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW doubled when the ads were on air. The more we can get Hoosiers to try to quit, the more likely we can help them quit for good.
The ads tell the stories of real people struggling with the kinds of smoking-related diseases that are far too common – including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), more severe adult asthma, and complications from diabetes. They show how these illnesses have changed the way these people have to live their lives.
Similar stories from Indiana can be seen at www.quitnow indiana.com. Most smokers say they want to quit. By showing real stories of how smoking can change the lives and health of Hoosiers. You can still see the ads on www.cdc.gov/tips. I hope they help inspire you to try to quit. And I hope you’ll call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.equitnow.com to access free quit support.