U.S. Government Incorporates Stories from Ex-smokers in Ads
In the second campaign to discourage smokers, the U.S. government decided to once again incorporate real stories from ex-smokers into anti-smoking advertisements. The health officials are using sad and emotional stories about smokers and the consequences of their smoking on the people in their lives in attempting to convince people to stop smoking. The officials believe that several smokers want to quit, but do not have a good source of encouragement, and they hope that these real-life stories can push them to finally quit the habit.
"Most smokers want to quit. These ads encourage them to try," the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden stated.
The CDC spent roughly $48 million on these advertisements that will be used in television, radios, billboards, and online and print spots. Although a lot of money was put into this campaign, the officials believe that these advertisements are worth it. If they can encourage smokers to quit, the amount of medical costs that can be saved will be worth more. The CDC spent roughly $54 million in last year's campaign, which was considered to be a huge success measured by an increase in the number of calls to smoker quit lines.
Every story uses a heart-wrenching and emotional narrative regarding the negative effects of smoking. One of the stories featured a woman from North Carolina who lost her voice box. Terrie Hall, 52, speaks to the camera through her voice box and tells smokers to tape their voices for their children to hear before they lose it to smoking. Another one was about a man named Bill from Michigan who was a diabetic smoker and lost his leg. A 7-year-old boy named Aden from New York who developed asthma from secondhand smoking was also described.
These stories will hopefully help more people quit. Over the past decades, the numbers revealed a healthy decline in the number of smokers, but recently, the decline has slowed down, which prompted officials to amp up their advertisements and fight smoking more aggressively.
Some of the advertisement campaigns can be found on the CDC's website.