Federal Agencies Prepare Media Campaigns to Decrease Tobacco Use

January 21, 2016|10:50 a.m.| Scott Briscoe

There is no question CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers campaign has been a huge success, and the 2016 version starts Monday.

The most recent analysis of the campaign’s effectiveness studies the first year of the campaign in 2012. Some of the findings:

  • 1.64 million smokers motivated to attempt to quit.
  • 4.7 million nonsmokers recommended cessation services to their friends and family.
  • $393 was spent on the campaign per year of life saved as a result ($50,000 per life year is often cited as the threshold for a cost effective public health campaign).

Commercials from the new campaign will begin airing nationally on Monday, Jan. 25, but are available now on YouTube (and below). The goals of the Tips campaign have remained constant through the years: to build awareness of the health damage caused by smoking and secondhand smoke, encourage smokers to quit with easy access to free help, and encourage smokers not to smoke around others. This year’s commercials emphasize the benefits of quitting; the psychological impacts of smoking-related diseases; the dangers of dual use, including e-cigarettes; and heart disease with a military focus.

The CDC makes many campaign materials—including ads, FAQs, powerpoint slides, video, etc.—available for state health agencies and other organizations to use. Materials with the CDC logo for any nonpaid placement can be downloaded from the Tips from Former Smokers Download Center, and organizations wishing to use their own branding on campaign materials can access a license agreement and materials from CDC’s Media Campaign Resource Center.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says they are set for a Spring 2016 launch of their campaign to educate retailers about tobacco regulations with an emphasis on the retailer’s ability to protect youth. More information on how state health agencies can help the FDA on this campaign will be forthcoming.

Scott Briscoe, CAE, is senior director of communications and marketing at ASTHO.