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New CDC Anti-Smoking Campaign Goes After E-Cigs

The new Tips From Former Smokers campaign from the CDC highlights health effects beyond the heart and lungs. Credit: geralt/pixabay.com.
The new Tips From Former Smokers campaign from the CDC highlights health effects beyond the heart and lungs. Credit: geralt/pixabay.com.
March 27, 2015

BALTIMORE - Colon cancer, vision problems and myths about vaping - using e-cigarettes - are featured in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's new Tips From Former Smokers campaign.

Smoking-related health damages beyond the heart and lungs are not well known although scientifically proven, said Dr. Tim McAfee, senior medical officer at the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. He said vaping is being aggressively marketed as a way to help smokers quit, although the research so far shows it doesn't help. In addition, he cited research showing that reducing the amount of traditional smoking by using e-cigs doesn't help, either.

"The 2010 Surgeon General's Report found that fewer cigarettes per day does not reduce cardiovascular disease," he said, "and that the only way to stop the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is to quit smoking completely."

The anti-smoking campaign features television and radio spots, online images and video and print components bearing testimonials from former smokers dealing with major health problems - and directs smokers to call the QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

"Julia," one of the former smokers in this year's campaign, detailed her life after colon cancer, which she connected to more than 30 years of smoking, starting as a teenager.

"It wasn't just about the physical pain and suffering I endured," she said. "It was also the fear and sadness I saw in my family that hurt almost more than the cancer itself."

Other former smokers sharing their stories talk about rectal cancer, lung cancer and age-related macular degeneration.

The "Tips From Former Smokers" are online at cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD