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CDC Continues Successful Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign; Courts Overturn Order To Put Anti-Tobacco Messages On Cigarette Packs

CDC Continues Successful Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign; Courts Overturn Order To Put Anti-Tobacco Messages On Cigarette Packs

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) is set to launch a graphic $54 million anti-smoking campaign called “Tips From Former Smokers.”

According to CNN, The largest anti-smoking campaign from the CDC  contains eight television spots (one in Spanish), seven radio spots, seven print ads and five billboard and bus stop ads.

The initial released image features Shawn Wright from Washington, who was diagnosed at age 46 with head and neck cancer, showing him shaving around a gaping hole in his neck which he uses to breathe.
Another ad features Brandon from North Dakota, aged 31, without legs.

The hope is that the graphic imagery, along with a support system of a national quit smoking hotline, will encourage the estimated over 50,000 American smokers to quit, as well as to prevent children from smoking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says its graphic ad campaign showing diseased smokers was so successful that it is planning more next year.

The ads, which ran for 12 weeks in spring and early summer, aimed to get 500,000 people to try to quit and 50,000 to kick the habit long-term.  The CDC says the results will even surpass those numbers and they will run more ads next year.

A court overturned an order to put graphic anti-tobacco messages on cigarette packs. The court ruled that the government overstepped its authority by trying to “browbeat” smokers into quitting.

Starting next month, the government had planned to require images on cigarette packs, including a man smoking through a hole in his throat and a body with chest staples on an autopsy table, but that order has been overturned.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said that the images weren’t necessarily false, but they went beyond “pure attempts to convey information to consumers.”

One judge said that the US Food and Drug Administration “has not provided a shred of evidence” that graphic warnings directly reduced rates of smoking.

Tobacco companies had filed a lawsuit against the feds, claiming that the cigarette labels violated the US Constitution’s First Amendment that prohibits any law that restricts freedom of speech.