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CDC Rolls Out Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads to Warn Smokers of Consequences

Update Date: Mar 28, 2013 08:11 PM EDT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a message to all smokers out there: quit smoking, and in a bid to ramp up awareness against the dangers, they will start rolling out graphic ads of former smokers who have been in one way or another affected negatively from the addictive habit.  

The ads feature sad, real-life stories: There is Terrie, a North Carolina woman who lost her voice box. Bill, a diabetic smoker from Michigan who lost his leg. And Aden, a 7-year-old boy from New York, who has asthma attacks from secondhand smoke.

"Most smokers want to quit. These ads encourage them to try," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Health Day.

Building on the success of the first ads released last year, the new ads will air on TV and radio and appear on billboards starting April 1 and run for 12 weeks, according to the CDC.

"Last year's campaign exceeded our very high expectations, and this year's campaign continues in that vein of showing the realities of smoking, They save lives and they save money," he said. "Today and every day this year, more than 1,200 people will be killed by tobacco, and today and throughout this year 8 million people are living with disease, disability and disfigurement caused by tobacco -- that's the reality," Dr. Frieden added.

The CDC campaign cost $50 million and includes TV, radio and online spots as well as print ads and billboards. Dr. Friedman said that is less than "what the tobacco industry spends in three days" to market its products.

Dr. Friedman noted that smoking remains the leading U.S. cause of preventable death and disease, killing more than 443,000 Americans each year, causing 20 times as many to suffer serious illness and costing an extra $100 million in annual health care. 

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