CDC: Arnold's Scary Anti-Smoking Ads Worked

Apparently showing people the hole in the throat that’s left after a laryngectomy operation so the patient can still breathe and other graphic images are effective motivators to kick the smoking habit.

The CDC issued a report today indicating that 100,000 smokers quit their habit after a three-month campaign in 2012 by Boston-based Arnold that was filled with such images. Also more than 200,000 smokers quit temporarily but half of them started up again, while 1.6 million made some effort to quit as a result of the ad campaign, per the CDC.

The ads, which veiled its main anti-smoking message in a campaign titled, “Tips From Former Smokers,” showed former smokers with amputated limbs, surgical scars from lung operations, stomas (the aforementioned throat hole) and other unpleasant images depicting the ill-effects of smoking.

The $54 million campaign reached almost 80% of smokers and 75% of non-smokers, according to the study, which also found that millions of nonsmokers reported talking to friends and family about the dangers of smoking and referring smokers to quit services.



“Hard hitting campaigns like ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ are great investments in public health,” stated Tim McAfee, director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health.

The campaign broke in March of 2012 with ads placed on TV, radio, print, out-of-home, in-theater and online via digital video, search and mobile channels. Social media including Facebook and Twitter were also part of the campaign.

A second set of “Tips” ads ran earlier this year and more will air in 2014.

The CDC said its campaign, said to be the first paid “national tobacco education campaign” is an “important counter” to the $8 billion-plus the tobacco industry spends each year promoting its products. 

1 comment about "CDC: Arnold's Scary Anti-Smoking Ads Worked".
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  1. Claudio Marcus from FreeWheel, September 10, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

    Let's see... that amounts to $540 dollars per person that quit smoking. I am sure there are other benefits but the cost seems very high.

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