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Press Room

New CDC Anti-Tobacco Campaign Marks Huge Step in American Tobacco Control

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York, USA) – World Lung Foundation today applauded the new public education campaign launched today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign, called “Tips From Former Smokers,” is the first of its kind from a federal agency in the United States.

Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy and Communications, commented on the campaign:

“Thousands of lives get saved starting today. The evidence is clear from studies done around the world and at state-level: campaigns like the CDC’s, can prompt smokers to quit, and thereby save millions from suffering and death. Yet, according to the World Health Organization, more than 70% of the world’s population saw no national tobacco counter-advertising in the last two years. That the CDC is initiating such a campaign signals it recognizes both the strong science behind such interventions and the efficiency of using mass media to prompt behavior change.

Effective campaigns share certain characteristics. They are well-tested to ensure impact and intended message delivery. They use strong, graphic imagery and evoke a negative emotional response, and they are adequately funded and planned to ensure the right audience receives the message. The CDC campaign meets all these criteria and sets a standard for future efforts at the federal, state and local levels.

We urge the CDC to continue its efforts because no single campaign can reverse decades of marketing from tobacco companies that have downplayed the risks and made tobacco use seem fresh, fun and even healthy.”

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of mortality in the world today, and is responsible for more than five million deaths each year—one in ten preventable deaths worldwide. WLF supports World Health Organization’s M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) strategies to reduce tobacco consumption. MPOWER strategies are endorsed and promoted by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, of which World Lung Foundation is a principal partner. Over the last five years, World Lung Foundation has launched more than 80 campaigns in 20 countries to inform smokers of the harms of tobacco use, and to support policy change.