CDC Releases New Anti-Smoking Ads

You may have noticed this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new part of its “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign. The ads, which hit began running on July 7, will continue running for nine weeks on television, radio, billboards, and online. They will also be seen in theaters, magazines and newspapers.

The campaign is completely upfront about its intent – these ads are designed to shock, frighten and even disgust current smokers into quitting the habit that is surely killing them.

Former smokers featured in the new ads are two middle-aged people who lost their teeth, a man with a whole in his throat, and a woman who had a premature baby. All of these are a result of smoking.

Also featured is Terrie Hall, a woman who is no stranger to appearing in the CDC’s anti-smoking ads. Hall, who lost her larynx to oral and throat cancer, was featured in the ad describing how she as a former smoker gets ready in the morning by putting in her teeth, placing her wig, and inserting her hands free device that allows her to talk.

At a press conference for the unveiling of the new ads, Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s office on smoking and health said Hall “demanded that we come and film her for this ad just days before she passed away.” In the ad, Hall tells viewers, “I don’t want anyone to go through what I’m going through.”

The ads have been effective in deterring smoking. Officials say that smokers have told them the ads helped them quit smoking by demonstrating what life is like with disabilities caused by smoking. Though smoking rates have dropped, there are still plenty of smokers out there.

According to the CDC, 18 percent of adults still smoke cigarettes, and 21 percent use some form of tobacco product every day or most days. Unfortunately, it seems that while the ads are helping reduce the number of smokers, there will still be plenty of people who can be participants in the ads for some time to come.

All of the background stories of the participants as well as their ads can be found on the CDC’s website.

image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Marie S.
Jill Steffenabout a year ago

O.K. smoking is bad for people, but so is OBESITY, but you don't see terrible commercials for those people. I'm an ex-smoker and my dentist has always told me I have beautiful teeth and take very good care of, I disagree w/commercial about the man that takes out his teeth. Obviously he never took care of his teeth properly.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.about a year ago

Like Ros G. I grew up with both parents being chain smokers travelling the country for months in the family truck and trailer. Fortunately, only 1 out of 3 kids smoked from it. My "system" however has evolved from 1) the tolerance of it by living with it to 2) migraines from exposure; and now past the migraine stage to 3) severe allergy to the point of not being able to breathe through my nose after exposure due to extreme sinus issues, raspy voice, constantly runny nose and deep congested continuous coughing. And this is with taking allergy medicine. It is miserable.

I have never understood the draw to smoking even as a kid I would hide my folks cigarettes (boy would they get mad!). It seems that their cost alone would make them more prohibitive.

I have seen these commercials and they are harsh.

Catrin K.
Catrin NoForwardsPleaseabout a year ago


Ros G.
PeaceGoodwill to Allabout a year ago

Thanks Donna.....I grew up in a household were both parents smoked was normal back in the days of "black and white" and most of my friends were the same......if you didn't get sick from the smoke as a child you normally went on to become a smoker yourself....the only one in my family that didn't/doesn't was my younger brother who like you suffered from 2nd hand smoke is probably just as additive as nicotine

Donna F.
Donna F.about a year ago

the people I feel bad for are the recipients of 2nd-hand smoke! as an asthmatic child, I was one of those. I HATE tobacco products! btw . . . "whole in the throat"????

Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgadoabout a year ago

I no longer smoke but did 4 years+still know many smokers especially at work. These ads sadly do nothing 4 smokers. Most don't bother with the ads at all. Smokers will only quit on their terms+only when ready mentally. It's very tough.

Ros G.
PeaceGoodwill to Allabout a year ago

Thanks for the article......I am a smoker........and it is an expensive habit/addiction.. and our Governments reap a lot of taxes and excise from it.........and the less people that buy tobacco........the more they will have to raise it from the others.......looking forward to the day we all give up.....then there will be no...child care subsidies, in Australia at about the hand that feeds you....put your money where your mouth is......or in this case a Micha S pointed out your "whole in the throat".

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeckabout a year ago

Thanks, I smoke on and off. But not a lot though. Have to stop though..

Susan T.
Susan T.about a year ago

I smoke.

Susan T.
Susan T.about a year ago

and with the influx of these illegal children I think the CDC will soon have more important issues to deal with.....welcome all these 3rd world kids.