Tips From Former SmokersĀ® campaign encourages Alabamians to quit


CONTACT: Julie Hare
(334) 206-3830
[email protected]

Every smoker has a story of why he or she started using tobacco.

For 16-year-old Tiffany, it was the death of her mom, a smoker who died of lung cancer. But when her own daughter turned 16, Tiffany realized she had to quit.

Tiffany is sharing her story with Alabamians this week, as part of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers® national media campaign. The campaign features former smokers suffering from the real consequences of smoking. Since 2012, the Tips campaign has inspired thousands of smokers to quit.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “Nearly $1 million is spent on tobacco advertising and promotion every hour, so this campaign serves as an important counter. One of the key messages of this campaign is that for every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 Americans live with a serious smoking-related illness. As a result of this campaign by the CDC, thousands of lives and millions of health care dollars are being saved.”

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S. More than 21 percent of adult Alabamians are smokers, according to the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Some 8,600 adults in the state die from smoking-related illnesses each year. The annual health care costs in Alabama directly caused by smoking total nearly $2 billion.

“Smokers who quit, regardless of age, increase their longevity; those who quit by age 30 live an average 10 years longer than if they had continued to smoke,” Ginny Campbell, Alabama government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc., said. “Smoking cessation reduces the risk of developing lung and other smoking-related cancers as well as many other diseases caused by smoking and improves the health of cancer survivors.”

There is free help for Alabamians who want to quit. The Alabama Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-Quit Now, or, is a free telephone and online resource to help tobacco users quit. The service provides a quit plan, up to four scheduled counseling calls, and up to eight weeks of nicotine replacement therapy patches if the caller is enrolled in the counseling program and medically eligible. The Quitline is open from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.