Just weeks after a judge declared the FDA’s mandate for graphic cigarette labels unconstitutional, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday launched a graphic anti-smoking campaign of its own, The Post’s David Brown reports.
The national campaign, “Tips from former smokers,” features Americans whose smoking has produced scary and very visual health consequences, including amputation, tracheotomy, paralysis and heart surgery. The images appear on billboards and print, TV, radio and online ads.
In one TV ad, Terrie, 51, of North Carolina, is shown putting on a wig before work, because she has lost most of her hair to head and neck cancer. She also inserts false teeth. And then we see Terri tie on a scarf to hide her tracheotomy. The ad’s tagline: “Smoking causes immediate damage to the body. You can quit.”
While the $54 million invested in the campaign may seem like a hefty sum, CDC says it’s all relative.
“This is really a David versus Goliath fight. The tobacco industry has spent more than $100 billion on marketing and promotion,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden told Reuters. “They continue to spend more than $10 billion a year. That’s a million dollars every hour.”
Below, watch another ad featuring Brandon and Marie, who talk about living with Buerger’s disease, which is sometimes caused by smoking and can lead to amputation:
In this ad, three people who have stomas, or surgically created openings in the body that replace normal openings, give tips on how to live with this condition:
And here, Suzy talks about losing her independence after smoking caused her to have a stroke:
The agency hopes the campaign can inspire 50,000 Americans to stop lighting up. Previous studies have suggested that graphic images can help persuade smokers to quit.
Watch all of the ads here