A new study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Tips from Former Smokers" Campaign was published in the medical journal The Lancet. According to the study, the 2012 campaign inspired millions of nonsmokers to encourage friends and family members to quit smoking. In fact, the campaign drove 1.6 million Americans to try to quit and helped more than 100,000 to quit.
The success of the campaign provides strong evidence that media campaigns work. It also provides support for the need for comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programming to impact the $96 billion in yearly tobacco related health care costs in the United States.
It also further demonstrates the need for state funding for comprehensive programming. While states collect nearly $26 billion annually from revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and from tobacco taxes, they are spending less than two percent on programs to reduce the impact.
Unfortunately, this is true in Ohio. Although small gains have been made in recent years, the state is far from comprehensive best practices. In addition to the need for additional programming resources, Other Tobacco Products (OTP), which come in kid friendly flavors such as grape, bubble gum and strawberry, are very cheap in our state.
Ohio can correct both issues by equalizing the OTP tax with the cigarette tax and using the new revenue generated to fund comprehensive programming. Please support this critical issue by responding to the current alert. Consider posting it to your Twitter or Facebook accounts with the share buttons to encourage others to respond.
To view the campaign ads, visit the CDC's YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL184B81EA3136E9FE