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CDC Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Kentucky

Flickr/Creative Commons/Ed Schipul

Louisville resident Linda Wood said she has smoked cigarettes since she was 16. Now 50, Wood said she’s seen television ads in the past showing the health issues caused by smoking.

“It makes you want to cut back a lot. And I have went from three packs a week to one pack,” Wood said.

Wood said when she watches the ads of Terrie Hall speaking with the aid of an artificial voice box, she thinks “that could be me.”

Wood said she is on her way to quitting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hoping to reach more people like Wood. The CDC launched an anti-smoking campaign Monday that targets people living in states with high smoking rates, including Kentucky.

It builds upon the CDC’s  Tips From Former Smokers campaign, which began in March 2012. The campaign features real experiences of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. Non-smokers who have had to live with health conditions related to secondhand smoke exposure are also featured.

Kentucky has the highest smoking rate in the U.S. at 30.2 percent, according to the most recent Gallup-Healthways report.

Diane Beistle, from CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said 2016 offers the opportunity for the advertisements to focus on new health conditions, especially in states like Kentucky.

“We recognize that Kentucky has a higher smoking prevalence, so we’re doing additional media placements in designated marketing areas in Kentucky,” she said.

Kentuckians can expect to see more anti-smoking billboards and posters from the campaign, she said. They can also expect to hear more radio spots and see more video ads.

“If you’re out and about in Kentucky, hopefully you’re seeing messages from the Tips campaign and can make note of the 1 (800) Quit-Now number,” Beistle said.

In addition to the nation’s highest smoking rate, Kentucky leads the U.S. in the rate of deaths from cancer. Lung cancer is among the most common forms of cancer in the state.

The CDC said 1.64 million smokers have attempted to quit smoking and about 100,000 U.S. smokers are expected to stay quit as a result of the 2012 Tips campaign.

“When we talk to smokers about real people and the kinds of devastating health conditions that they face or are facing as a result of their smoking, that’s very motivating to people to say, ‘Hey I really don’t want that to happen to me,'” Beistle said.

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