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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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New CDC Anti-Smoking Campaign Discourages Use of E-Cigs

PHOTO: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has kicked off its new Tips From Former Smokers campaign. It discourages the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has kicked off its new Tips From Former Smokers campaign. It discourages the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
April 6, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Colon cancer, vision problems and myths about vaping, using e-cigarettes, are featured in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new Tips From Former Smokers campaign. CDC senior medical officer Dr. Tim McAfee says smoking-related health damages beyond the heart and lungs are not well-known, although scientifically proven.

He adds, 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 cites research showing that reducing the amount of traditional smoking by using e-cigs doesn't help, either.

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

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 (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

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

"It wasn't just about the physical pain and suffering I endured," she says. "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.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY