CDC is back with more Tips from Former Smokers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched its 2015 Tips from Former Smokers campaign.

The Tips campaign, which was first launched in March 2012, features people living with the effects of smoking.

The latest campaign will feature new conditions, including colorectal cancer, emphysema and COPD and vision loss.

The ads will run for 20 weeks, beginning March 30, on television, radio, billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers.

When the ads were on the air in 2014, about 80 percent more people called the national tobacco quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, for free help. Since 2012, the ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the quitline, according to the CDC.

“These former smokers are helping save tens of thousands of lives by sharing their powerful stories of how smoking has affected them,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, in a news release. “These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years.”

Here are some of the former smokers featured:

-Marlene, 68, started smoking in high school and began losing her vision to macular degeneration at age 56. Besides quitting smoking, the best chance for slowing her vision loss is a drug that must be injected through a needle into her eyes. To date, she has had more than 100 shots in each eye.

-Mark, 47, an Air Force veteran who used cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf.  He quit in 2009 when he developed rectal cancer at age 42.

-Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years before developing colon cancer at age 49, followed by surgery and months of chemotherapy. She needed an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen to collect waste.

-Kristy, 35, who tried using e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting. Kristy then suffered a collapsed lung, and was diagnosed with early COPD (lung disease) before she quit smoking.

For more on the campaign, visit the Tips from Former Smokers website,

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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