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Tuesday
Sep102013

Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign Has Helped 100K Quit Cigarettes

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Scary movies are make-believe but scary ads showing the consequences of smoking are all too real.  And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are an effective deterrent to smoking.

A new CDC study claims that a series of shocking public service ads that ran last year and during this past spring compelled at least 100,000 Americans to kick the cigarette habit out of the 1.6 million smokers who at least made the effort to try and stop.

Tim McAfee, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, admits that positive, upbeat messages don't really hammer home the concept of how the body can be ravaged by smoking.

The ads showed some people missing limbs and others with holes in their throats.  Smokers with severe emphysema were also featured as well as those close to death.

While the 6 percent success rate of people successfully stopping smoking could stand improvement, health officials believe it's a good start and the CDC plans another round of graphic ads next year.

One unforeseen benefit has been how people who don't smoke have reacted, according to Erika Sward, assistant vice president of national advocacy at the American Lung Association.  She said that more non-smokers have been inspired to talk to their smoking friends and family members about the dangers of tobacco use as a result of the campaign.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio