Last updated: July 10. 2014 10:45AM - 570 Views

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Continuing the success of a landmark national tobacco education campaign launched in 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is airing a second series of ads in 2014 featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases.

The newest ads in the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign tell the story of how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking. In Oklahoma alone, more than $1.6 billion is spent each year on health care costs tied directly to smoking. The new ads will air from July 7 to Sept. 7.

“These ads tell the stories of brave people struggling with the health consequences of smoking-related diseases — the kinds of smoking-related diseases doctors see every day,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The former smokers in these ads give voice to the more than 16 million Americans who are suffering from smoking-related chronic diseases each and every day.”

The ads feature smoking-related health conditions that people don’t commonly associate with cigarette use — including gum disease, pre-term birth and complications associated with HIV — and continue to emphasize more common conditions, like cancer. They encourage smokers to call a toll-free number to access free quitting support, or visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view the personal stories from the campaign and for free help quitting.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-7669) or visiting www.OKhelpline.com.

The tips campaign serves as an important counter to the more than $8.3 billion spent annually by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes more attractive and more affordable — particularly to youth and young adults.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. It kills about 480,000 Americans each year, including about 6,500 in Oklahoma. And for every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more people suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. Nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit. This campaign will provide them with information and resources to do so.

For more information on the campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, links to the ads, and free quit help, visit www.cdc.gov/tips. To learn more about what’s happening locally to promote healthy tobacco-free environments in Bryan County, contact the Turning Point Coalition.

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