Two years ago, exposure to secondhand smoke at work triggered a life-threatening asthma attack that left 16-year-old Jamason hospitalized for four days.
“I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know why I wasn’t able to breathe,” said Jamason, now 18. “I didn’t know anything. I just knew that I couldn’t breathe.”
His story is one of many highlighted in the Tips From Former Smokers™ Campaign.
This week the national advertising campaign, launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2012, returns to print and digital publications in major media markets. Instead of using actors, the stark ads show some of the 16 million Americans living with stomas, lung cancer, amputations, and other serious health conditions that result from smoking or exposure to smoke. In addition to personal stories, the ads direct viewers to free resources to help them quit smoking.
Smoking-related disease costs the country $170 million a year in health care spending, according to the CDC, and the Tips™ ad campaign can potentially save thousands of lives and millions in health care dollars. According to the agency, the campaign serves as an important countermeasure to the $8.5 billion in advertising the tobacco industry spent on cigarette advertising and promotion in 2014 — equal to about $1 million every hour.
Find more information on the UCLA-S.A.F.E. project here.