No Delay, Quit Today!

Smoking cessation campaign produces impressive results

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) 1-800-QUIT-NOW can link any caller in the United States to their toll-free state quitline. A 12-week ad campaign helped around half a million people try and quit smoking.

A national, 12-week ad campaign, gives a major boost to quit smoking attempts. An estimated 50,000 smokers may have quit for good as a result.

"Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW."

The 12-week national ad campaign, coined “Tips From Former Smokers”, ran from March 19 to June 10, 2012. The campaign let smokers know they could call 1-800-QUIT-NOW and/or visit www.smokefree.gov for smoking cessation resources and support.

1-800-QUIT-NOW is a national portal that diverts callers to their state quitline. The campaign resulted in nearly 200,000 more calls to the number and 400,000 more unique visitors to www.smokefree.gov than usual.

That’s double the call volume and triple the website traffic from before the campaign.

The goal of the campaign was to spark 500,000 quit attempts and 50,000 quit successes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates this level of action would save Americans $70 million dollars in medical and productivity loss costs every single year.

CDC director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, is optimistic: “These initial results suggest that the campaign will help even more people quit than we had hoped, exceeding our already high expectations. 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.”

The campaign marks the first time a federal agency was involved in creating ads for a national tobacco education campaign.

The ads are pretty intense, showing how people with smoking-related diseases have a hard time eating, dressing and doing other everyday tasks.

Smoking statistics:

  • The end of the campaign has not ended people’s calls or site visits. 8.6 million Americans are living with smoking-related diseases right now, and cost $96 billion per year in health care.
  • Smoking-related diseases kill over 1,200 Americans per day.
  • 1,000 kids under the legal smoking age of 18 begin smoking every day.

The tobacco industry spends nearly $10 billion every year on advertising. The “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign cost $54 million dollars - that’s two days' worth of advertising expense for the tobacco industry.

This information was provided by a press release on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, June 14, 2012.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 20, 2012
Last Updated:
November 12, 2012