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Tips From Former Smokers®

Brian, age 65, started smoking cigarettes at age 8. After high school, he joined the Air Force because he wanted a military career. At 35, still smoking and stationed in England, Brian had a heart attack and spent months in hospital rooms. In this ad from CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers® campaign, Brian reveals how he couldn’t serve his country because of his heart disease.

Brian’s Story More Tips From Former Smokers®


What’s with the hard-hitting emotional, graphic ads? Why not something more positive?
We get these questions a lot, and although ads like these may seem extreme, exposure to emotional or graphic advertisements is strongly linked to motivating people who smoke to make quit attempts. On the other hand, numerous studies have shown that advertisements not containing this emotional or graphic messaging have little to no effect on quit attempts.

What does that mean? Quit attempts are what leads to quitting smoking successfully. The more people who smoke are motivated to make quit attempts, the more successful quits; and the result is less pain, suffering, and death caused by smoking.
What new information are these ads really offering? Everyone knows cigarettes are bad for you.
While most people know the danger of smoking cigarettes, it's still the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. These ads serve as a reminder of the dangers of smoking, as well as inform people who smoke about resources available to help them quit.

To learn more about the Tips® Campaign, visit
Last updated 1/20/2022 12:45 PM
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