Trying To Snuff Out The Habit: Graphic Ads Targeting Smokers Send A Powerful Message

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A government campaign designed to help smokers quit their deadly habit is back.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is rolling out new ads to show what it’s like to live every day with a disability caused by smoking. Some of the ads are tough to watch.

Rick Ritter reports the new ads are designed to scare and disgust smokers.

“When you have a hole in your neck, don’t face the shower head,” a man in an ad says.

Distasteful and tough to watch. New CDC ads send a powerful message to smokers.

“Get used to eating only soft foods,” he says.

The graphic campaign comes after the CDC launched its first one back in 2012.

Terrie Hall is a former smoker known for appearing in the ads and honored for telling her story.

“Everywhere I go I’m recognized for that lady on TV,” Hall said.

The CDC says ads featuring Hall hit home for smokers nationwide.

“Seeing someone else in that position, it shook me,” said Dave Kadis.

Kadis smoked for nearly 15 years but quit after he saw the first commercial.

“They definitely influenced and were the icing on the cake, I guess you could say,” said Kadis.

Now, the CDC takes the videos up a notch, showing the daily struggles of suffering from throat cancer.

“Clean out your speech valve twice a day,” an ad says.

According to the CDC, smoking kills about 480,000 people in the U.S. annually.

The campaign even targets smokers who are pregnant.

“My name is Amanda and I smoked while I was pregnant,” the ad says. “My baby was born two months early and weighed only three pounds.”

Per the Surgeon General’s Report, at least 1 in 10 women smoke during their last trimester of pregnancy.

Dr. Albert Polito is on board with the new campaign.

“I actually think that it’s the right approach,” said Polito.

Graphic or not, it’s one he believes will get the job done.

“We need to put the face of smoking in front of the public,” he said.

“It’s a shame we have to learn the hard way,” said Kadis.

The CDC will roll out the new ads starting on July 7.

Other ads will include smokers who lost their teeth to gum disease.

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