Tobacco smoking kills more than 7 million people worldwide a year and is one of the biggest health threats in the world. In America, it is the largest preventable cause of death and disease, killing more than 480 000 Americans a year through smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. Policies such as raising the cost of smoking through taxes, funding anti-smoking media campaigns, as well as ensuring that health professionals to routinely advise smokers to stop (West 2017) are just some control methods in battling the tobacco epidemic.
The CDC anti-smoking ad campaign “Tips from former smokers (Tips)” released in 2012 is an example of a tobacco control design initiative in America. The campaign was funded by the government and produced by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This campaign is educational, and emphasises the burden of smoking through profiling real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from smoking (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 2012). Emphasis on health issues caused by smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke include cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma, diabetes complications and many more. The campaign is a harsh reality check for smokers in terms of health consequences and the impact on their families. The campaign features video, print and social media advertisements as well as a website containing information and resources about the campaign. The campaign features testimonials from smokers dealing with the health consequences paired with confronting images of the damage to their bodies. It encourages smokers to quit through a motivation for their family and realising the health burden of smoking.
The campaign continues to run today and has shown high success in terms of cost, costing less than what the tobacco industry spends to market their products. A positive response from the audience was also received, it was estimated that more than 9 million smokers have attempted to quit because of the campaign; and estimates that more than half a million have quit for good (Tobacco Free Kids 2013). Statistics gathered from the campaign website shows that when the campaign aired in 2012, an estimated 1.64 million smokers to make a quit attempt and about 100,000 smokers to quit for good (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 2012). Studies on the success of this campaign shows that increased worries about health led to greater quitting intentions among U.S. smokers. While it was also evident the hard-hitting, graphic, and emotional advertisements was also effective at changing cessation-related outcomes (Alexander et al. 2015). Although the campaign only aired for three months it received a highly successful results of smokers attempting to quit and quiting for good. Therefore, airing anti-smoking mass media campaigns with greater frequency and consistency across the United States has had a positive impact in decreasing the use of tobacco (Alexander et al. 2015). On top of funding and airing anti-smoking media campaigns, there are opportunities to increase funding in other areas that are overlooked in the tobacco control policy in America such as tobacco cessation services and increasing coverage in health insurance plans for those services (Cameron et al. 2016).
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012, Tips From Former Smokers, CDC, Washington, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/about/index.html>
Tobacco Free Kids, 2013, CDC’s Anti-Smoking Ad Campaign Spurred Over 100,000 Smokers to Quit, TBFK, Washington, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/press-releases/2013_09_09_cdc>
West, R. 2017, Tobacco smoking: Health impact, prevalence, correlates and interventions, NCIB, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5490618/>
Alexander, R. L. Beistle, D. M. Davis, K C. Duke, J. C. Fraze, J. L. MacMonegle, A. J. Rodes, R. M. 2015, Impact of U.S anti-smoking national media campaign on beliefs, cognitions and quit intentions, NCIB, viewed 13th January 2019, < https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4514523/>
Cameron, B. J Carr, T. A Lapin, B. Mader, E. M. Morley C. P. 2016, Update on Performance in Tobacco Control: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Tobacco Control Policy and the US Adult Smoking Rate, 2011-2013, NCIB, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5035147/>
Tips Christine Cancer, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/social/images/tips-christine-cancer-sm-934×700.jpg>
Tips Bill Diabetes, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, viewed 13th January 2019, <https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/social/images/tips-bill-diabetes-sm-934×700.jpg>
Tips Felicita Gum Disease, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, viewed 13th January 2019, < https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/social/images/tips-felicita-gum-sm-934×700.jpg>
Tips Amanda Print Ad, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,
viewed 13th January 2019,
Tips Beatrice Print Ad, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,
viewed 13th January 2019,
Tips Becky Print Ad, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,
viewed 13th January 2019,
Website Screenshot, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, viewed 13th January 2019,