The "Tips From Former Smokers" national ad campaign has generated almost 200,000 additional calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a portal that links callers to their state quitlines, and more than 400,000 additional unique visitors to smokefree.gov, a federal website designed to help people quit smoking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.Based on previous state experience, these numbers indicate that the 12-week campaign, which began March 19 and ended on June 10, is on track to surpass the goal of generating at least 500,000 quit attempts, and 50,000 successful, long-term quits. Further data detailing the number of quit attempts will be available later this year. "These initial results suggest that the campaign will help even more people quit than we had hoped, exceeding our already high expectations," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "More than two thirds of all smokers want to quit. People who smoke die sooner and live sicker. This campaign is saving lives and saving money." CDC anticipates some 50,000 smokers will end their addiction as a result of the ad campaign. It is estimated this will result in an annual savings of approximately $70 million dollars in medical and productivity costs. The campaign featured a diverse set of ads profiling people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. It marked the first time a federal agency had developed and placed advertisements for a national tobacco education campaign. The ads in the "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign show how smoking-related diseases have change the way these former smokers eat, dress and perform many other daily tasks that most people take for granted. Overall call volume to 1-800-QUIT-NOW more than doubled during the campaign, and weekly website volume tripled compared with levels prior to the campaign. There have been more than 365,000 calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW and nearly 630,000 unique visitors to smokefree.gov since the campaign began. Based on calculations using data from the week prior to the campaign as a baseline, the campaign generated nearly 192,000 additional calls to 1-800 QUIT-NOW and an additional 417,000 unique visitors to the website.
********** Published: June 28, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 11