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Powerful Television Ads Encourage Central New York Residents to Quit Smoking


Powerful Stories Illustrate Tragic Consequences of Smoking and

Recommend Contacting Doctor for Assistance with Quitting

Syracuse, NY – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is airing a series of powerful television ads that feature real people living with the effects of smoking-related diseases --- the same diseases that Central New York residents suffer with as well. The ads recommend that smokers contact their doctors for assistance with quitting. More than 25,000 New Yorkers die every year from smoking-related diseases.

“These ads are sobering, but they save lives,” said Christopher Owens, director of St. Joseph’s Hospital Cessation Center. “The ads prompt smokers to quit tobacco use and encourage them to reach out for assistance which is free from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Smokers can also speak with their doctor who can provide counseling and recommend medications which increase the chance of successfully quitting.”

The messages in the ads are emotional and describe life-changing illnesses and disabilities including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, amputation, complications from diabetes and cancer. Smokers and non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke tell their stories.

Some of the stories in the ads include:

·         Tiffany, a mother who quit smoking so she would see her daughter turn 17. She lost her own mother to lung cancer before she turned 16.

·         Bill, a 40-year old diabetic whose smoking lead to blindness in one eye, heart surgery and amputation of one leg.

·         Michael, a grandfather with COPD, struggling to tell his grandson he is dying.

SJH Nurse Practitioner Patricia Briest indicates that campaigns which demonstrate actual effects of tobacco use, help people understand the reality of tobacco use. Briest says “People often think that these terrible things will not happen to them, but in reality severe health consequences occur more often than people realize”.

According to the CDC, last year’s national campaign with similar ads resulted in a significant increase in calls to quitlines around the country demonstrating that people are trying to quit smoking after they see the ads.

The ads are funded by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund and are running across the country on television, radio, billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines and newspapers.

“We need ads like this to counter the roughly $1 million dollars a day spent in New York State by the tobacco industry to encourage smoking,” said Owens. “The marketing in stores, price discounts and other marketing strategies weaken the resolve to stop smoking and have a negative impact on youth smoking”. 

For cessation assistance in Central New York, speak with your doctor or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487)

For more information on the ads, including profiles of the former smokers featured in the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.