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Sobering ads prompt smokers to kick habit

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is airing a series of powerful television ads that feature real people living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The ads recommend that smokers contact their doctor for assistance with quitting. More than 25,000 New Yorkers die every year from smoking-related diseases.

These ads are sobering, but they save lives. The ads prompt smokers to quit tobacco use and encourage them to reach out for assistance, which is free from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Smokers can speak with their doctor, who can provide counseling and recommend medications that increase the chance of successfully quitting. Doctors play a very important role in quitting smoking. Studies have shown that when health care providers assist with quitting, success rates increase dramatically.

According to the CDC, last year’s national campaign with similar ads greatly increased calls to quitlines around the country, demonstrating that people are trying to quit after they see the ads.

We need ads like this to counter the roughly $1 million a day spent in New York State by the tobacco industry to encourage smoking. The marketing in stores, price discounts and other strategies weaken the resolve to stop smoking and have a negative impact on youth smoking.

For cessation assistance, speak with your doctor or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-697-8487. There are also cessation support groups in the area to help smokers quit. Contact the Roswell Park Tobacco Cessation Center for more information at 845-8981.

Kimberly Bank, R.N.

Buffalo