Legacy Statement on Results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Tips” Campaign

Release Date:

September 9, 2013

Washington, D.C– According to new research published in the British medical journal The Lancet, the US Government’s first national smoking cessation campaign may have helped at least 100,000 people quit smoking for good. 

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Tips from Former Smokers campaign, which delivered a message to smokers and non-smokers alike that smoking is a deadly addiction that can impact your health and your daily life at a very young age. The series of hard-hitting television, print, radio and online advertisements drew attention to the dangers of smoking, while promoting national smoking cessation telephone helplines and online resources available to anyone looking to quit. 

Research published in The Lancet estimates that 1.64 million smokers made a quit attempt due to “Tips,” and more than 220,000 of these smokers remained abstinent upon completion of the campaign. Among these smokers, an estimated 100,000 will remain abstinent from smoking long-term.   The study found that during the campaign period there was also a 132% increase in calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a national smoking cessation helpline, and an even larger increase in traffic to a quit-assistance website (smokefree.gov). 

The tobacco industry spends more than $8 billion a year marketing its products in the U.S. alone, maintaining the tobacco epidemic as one of our greatest public health challenges. We applaud the CDC for its continued investment in our nation's future and economic health through this proven-successful campaign. 

At Legacy, we work hard to help people understand that smoking is an addiction, not a mere habit or matter of will. While the CDC campaign made an impact on smokers, the campaign also had a positive effect on non-smokers, nearly doubling the proportion of non-smokers who made recommendations to friends or family to use the telephone quitline or website. Further indicating how the campaign helped spur water-cooler conversation, the study found the proportion of non-smokers who reported talking with friends or family about the dangers of smoking also increased. 

For more than a decade, Legacy has fought to address the nation’s leading cause of preventable death: tobacco-related disease. Through efforts like our truth® youth smoking prevention campaign, and our EX® quit smoking campaign, we know firsthand about the importance of multimedia campaigns and the effects and results that they generate.

These strong findings illustrate the clear public health benefit of sustaining campaigns like “Tips,” as part of a comprehensive effort to reach smokers and their families and to encourage smoking cessation. These results provide evidence to continue building on this life-saving work – smoking cessation intervention that is both successful and cost-effective. 

We stand beside the CDC in support of this bold effort and encourage everyone to visit www.cdc.gov/TIPS for more information on how to quit.

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit LegacyForHealth.org. 

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