Federal health officials are beginning a second series of anti-tobacco ads that use the stories of real-life people to show the negative impacts of smoking. Iowa Department of Public Health director, Marianette Miller-Meeks, says her department supports the new ads in what’s called the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign.
“I think that anytime that you can continue to have a conversation and education about the risks and hazards of smoking to one’s health — and especially when they are coming from people who have suffered the consequences of the tobacco addiction — it can be a very powerful message and motivation for people to stop smoking, and to not start smoking,” Miller-Meeks says.
Dr. Miller-Meeks says they are still waiting on the numbers to see how Iowa is doing in getting people to quit smoking. She says the data was reconfigured, and so they have to start over with a new trend line beginning with the data from 2011.
Miller-Meeks says that data showed the smoking rate around 20-percent, which she says was comparable to the old data, but they are still waiting on the 2012 numbers. The ads feature smoking-related health conditions like COPD, complications from diabetes while describing the various losses you get from smoking and the gains from quitting.
Dr. Miller-Meeks says the state has help available for those interested in trying to quit. “One-800-quit-now (800-784-8669) would be the telephone counseling number that is a 24-7 response,” Miller-Meeks says. “And also through that number you can get to the web-based and on-line counseling, which has really opened up some more avenues for people who want to quite smoking but want to have some more avenues than just the telephone counseling.”
The latest round of anti-smoking ads began Monday and will run through June 23rd.