health

Anti-smoking ads inspire 192,000 to call how-to-quit hotline

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 9, 2012

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The federal government’s national advertising campaign to reduce tobacco use by highlighting stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities was more successful than officials expected.

The ads, which appeared on radio, television and elsewhere from March 19 through June 10, generated an estimated 192,000 calls to a toll-free number (800-QUIT-NOW) featured in the ads. The hotline helps people access support to quit smoking, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which launched the Tips from Former Smokers initiative (link).

The campaign also drove about 417,000 unique visitors to the smokefree.gov website, which offers information on kicking the habit (link).

The advertisements are expected to prompt 50,000 to quit, the CDC said. The reduction in smoking will result in an estimated annual savings of $70 million a year in medical and productivity costs.Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., killing more than 443,000 Americans a year, according to the CDC. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking-related condition, and every day more than 1,000 people younger than 18 become daily smokers.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/07/09/hlbf0709.htm.

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