Calls to the Maryland Tobacco Quitline Expected to Break Records

Powerful New Anti-Tobacco Ads Launched in Maryland

Baltimore, MD (April 4, 2013) – In 2012, a landmark national ad campaign from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Tips from Former Smokers,” coincided with nearly a 90 percent increase in call volume to Maryland’s Quitline, with over 4,000 additional calls from Maryland residents during the campaign.  In March 2013, CDC re-aired the ads from last year’s campaign, which drove up call volume to over 400 percent more than in the previous month.

The CDC has now launched a second series of ads featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The newest ads in the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign (airing April 1-June 23) tell the story of how lives were changed forever due to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Learn more about the campaign here: http://www.cdc.gov/features/SmokersTips/.

“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 Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H, Director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “The former smokers in these ads give voice to the more than 8 million Americans who are suffering from smoking-related chronic diseases each and every day.”

The ads feature smoking-related health conditions— including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, more severe adult asthma, and complications from diabetes, such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and amputation—and candidly describe the losses from smoking and the gains from quitting.

“Quitting tobacco can add years of life,” says Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary.  “We expect these ads to lead to record numbers of calls to the Quitline."

Maryland residents 13 years and older are encouraged to call 1-800-QUIT NOW for FREE counseling services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Services are in English and Spanish and other languages via translation services. Additionally, tobacco users 18 years and older have FREE access to the following benefits: Four weeks supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (while supplies last), such as the patch or gum, and the NEW Web Coach® (www.quitnow.net/maryland/) and Text2Quit® support programs.

Renee from Montgomery County called for help in response to the ads.  “I quit smoking with the support of the Maryland Tobacco Quitline. I quit smoking because I really wanted to be a non-smoker. I am able to manage my symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis much better now that I have quit.  I have more energy.  The coaches at the Quitline gave me the support I needed to finally quit.”

Renee’s story can be seen at www.SmokingStopsHere.com.   

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