The federal government is calling its first national tobacco education ad campaign a rousing success.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said today that its three-month “Tips From Former Smokers” advertisements that ran in 2012 caused more than 200,000 Americans to quit smoking, 100,000 of whom the CDC estimates won’t pick up the habit again.
By comparison, the government’s initial goal was just 50,000 successful quits.
The ads, created by Arnold Worldwide, showed the often brutal disfigurements and amputations suffered by former smokers, who implored viewers to ditch their habits before it was too late.
The initial $US54-million campaign was so successful that the CDC set aside $US48 million for a new series of ads that ran this spring.
The CDC reported that the 2012 ads saved quitters more than 300,000 years of life at a cost of less than $US200 a year.
Though only about 13% of the people who tried to quit smoking after seeing the ads were successful in doing so, the campaign was successful in drawing viewers’ attention to the health risks of smoking.
The CDC found that more than 75% of the thousands of Americans they polled remembered seeing at least one of the ads during the three months they ran.
A new set of Tips From Former Smokers is set to run in 2014.
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