CDC Continues With Shocking Anti-Smoking Ads

Posted at: 04/03/2013 6:42 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Health officials will always be quick to tell you, cigarettes kill 60 percent of smokers who never seek treatment. The CDC is determined to lower that number through a series of eye opening ads.

It's hard to avoid these commercials and now Terri is back, along with a few others in a new round of ads released by the CDC.

"That scared me, that commercial really did. It was like wow, because these aren't like older people, they are people my age so yeah it was very effective," said Laura Nelson of Rochester.

The ads are designed to convince smokers to quit while they are ahead. For Laura Nelson, seeing these commercials prompted her to try to kick her habit.

"I tried it cold turkey and now I've recently purchased the patch a nasal spray and some gum," said Nelson.

The campaign is proven to be effective for more than just Laura. The company behind QuitPlan says the national hotline more than doubled last year.

“That's really the impact that this has is because they are not cartoon characters, they're not made up people, they're not actors they are real people with serious medical problems related to tobacco smoking," said Dr. Richard Hurt, Director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center.

Dr. Hurt sees patients with the same medical problems shown in the ads. He says showing these major side effects of smoking will make people think about their own habit.

"We know that motivation is a big part of this and how to get people motivated to even try to quit is a major, major factor," said Dr. Hurt.

The ad campaign struck a nerve with Laura Nelson and motivated her to stop smoking by this summer.

"This could be me, this could definitely happen to me and they say that right there, don't think it's just not going to be you because it could be you," said Nelson.

The Tips From Former Smokers Campaign is expanding on last year’s ads and will feature different health problems associated with smoking.