The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that an estimated 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of its national ad campaign called “Tips from Former Smokers.”

Following the 3-month campaign in 2012 (aired March 19–June 10), more than 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately. It is further estimated that more than 100,000 will likely quit smoking permanently. These numbers surpass the campaign’s original goals of 500,000 quit attempts and 50,000 successful quits.

RELATED: Poisoning and Drug Dependence Resource Center

The Tips campaign was the first time a federal agency had developed and placed paid advertisements for a national tobacco education campaign. The campaign included stories of former smokers now living with smoking-related disease and disabilities. 

Also, a toll-free number and website to access nationwide quit support were provided to encourage smoking cessation.

The impact of this campaign is published in the medical journal, The Lancet:

  • Millions of nonsmokers reported talking to friends and family about the dangers of smoking and referring smokers to quit services
  • Almost 80% of smokers and almost 75% of non-smokers recalled seeing at least one of the ads during the 3-month campaign
  • Calls to the quitline more than doubled during the campaign
  • Website visits were more than 5 times higher than for the same 12-week period in 2011
  • By quitting, former smokers added more than 1/3 of a million years of life to the U.S. population

A second set of Tips ads aired earlier in 2013 and future plans for a new set of Tips ads in 2014 are in development. The CDC will release results of the 2013 ads later this year.

For more information call (800) QUIT-NOW or visit the CDC Tips page.