CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Work Highlights Smoking Cessation

January 9, 2015

MMWR News Synopsis for December 18, 2014


Smoking Cessation Among Users of Telephone and Web-Based Interventions — Four States, 2011–2012


Tobacco cessation services are available for free in every state. Smokers who use these services better their odds of successfully quitting smoking. Smoking causes 480,000 deaths a year in the United States. All states offer access to telephone or web based tobacco cessation services, and these services are freely available to people who want to quit smoking. Using these services, and in particular, using both services in combination, increases the chances of quitting successfully. States can help a greater number of people quit smoking by offering both telephone and web-based tobacco cessation services instead of offering only one.


Tetrodotoxin Poisoning Outbreak from Imported Dried Puffer Fish — Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2014

Health care providers who work in emergency departments or with persons from countries with a tradition of puffer fish consumption should be aware of the potential public health threat of puffer fish poisoning and should coordinate with their local poison centers and health departments to investigate any suspected cases. Puffer fish is a highly regulated product in the U.S. due to its potential toxicity yet is a delicacy in many cultures. Health care providers who work in emergency departments or with persons from countries with a tradition of puffer fish consumption should be aware of this potential public health threat and coordinate with their local poison centers and health departments to investigate any suspected cases of puffer fish poisoning to determine the source of the fish, whether it was legally imported, and whether additional contaminated product needs to be removed from commerce.


Perceptions of the Risk for Ebola and Health Facility Use Among Pregnant and Lactating Women and Community Health Workers — Kenema District, Sierra Leone, September 2014


During a complex humanitarian crisis such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, it is critical to consider the impact of the crisis on the delivery of routine health services and on health care seeking among vulnerable populations. Fear and misconceptions of Ebola were found to contribute to decreased health facility use in focus group discussions with health workers and pregnant and lactating women in Kenema District, Sierra Leone. In a country with the highest ratio of maternal deaths and fourth highest rate of newborn deaths in the world, use of routine maternal and newborn health care is essential to reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes. Infection prevention and control trainings were found to reduce fear among health care workers and may be an important strategy to increase women’s confidence in health facility safety. This information is being used to create messaging to encourage use of maternal and newborn health care services across Sierra Leone.


Notes from the Field:


Aseptic Meningitis Outbreak Associated with Echovirus 30 Among High School Football Players — Los Angeles County, California, 2014



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Sons of Anarchy Gets ‘Smoked Out’ on Ellen for GASO

December 18, 2014

As part of Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20th Ellen Degeneres Takes the Smoke Our of Sons of Anarchy.


Students take lead at Great American Smokeout

December 11, 2014
Photo: Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Public Health Dominique Arvizu, a senior at right, explains to her Ironwood High School classmate Abraham Smith, a sophomore, that he has passed a carbon monoxide breath test with flying colors. They were practicing with the device to help any smokers who stopped by their educational display outside a CVS store Nov. 20.  

Photo: Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Public Health
Dominique Arvizu, a senior at right, explains to her Ironwood High School classmate Abraham Smith, a sophomore, that he has passed a carbon monoxide breath test with flying colors. They were practicing with the device to help any smokers who stopped by their educational display outside a CVS store Nov. 20.

 Thursday, December 11, 2014

Several students from Ironwood High School participated in the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20, challenging some customers at a nearby CVS pharmacy store to quit cold turkey and helping others make a plan to stop smoking.

Jo Ann Brown, a prevention specialist for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, credited CVS with removing all cigarettes and tobacco products from its shelves last month and making a store available for the educational efforts of those students.

About 10 local youth attended that event on the sidewalk of the CVS store at 75th Avenue and Cactus Road. They belong to Students Taking a New Direction, an anti-tobacco coalition of teens and students from across Arizona.

Dominique Arvizu, a high school senior and a cousin to Brown, serves as secretary of the club at Ironwood. She began recruiting students in August, primarily through lunchtime events, and the club now has 30 active members. Read the rest of this entry »

New Studies Detail the High Costs of Smoking in America, and the Comparitive Bargain of Convincing People to Quit

December 11, 2014

Two new studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the health care costs of smoking are even higher than previously estimated, and that the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers mass media campaign has been extremely cost-effective at getting smokers to quit.

Together these studies demonstrate that tobacco use is needlessly bankrupting our health care system despite the availability of proven, cost-effective measures that are not being fully utilized. While the United States has greatly reduced smoking, tobacco use continues to take a huge health and financial toll on the nation that policy makers cannot ignore.

The studies on healthcare costs and on the media campaign were published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The first study finds that smoking costs our nation about $170 billion a year in health care spending – 8.7 percent of all health care spending in the U.S. This is up from an estimate of at least $132.5 billion included in the 2014 Surgeon General’s report on tobacco released in January. More than 60 percent of these costs are paid by taxpayers through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. These findings show that smoking imposes a cost on all taxpayers and reducing tobacco use is a critical part of bringing down health care spending in the U.S.

The second study shows that in its first year (2012), the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers campaign helped 100,000 smokers to quit and saved about 17,000 people from a premature death. The campaign, with a modest budget of $48 million, spent only $480 per smoker who quit and $393 per year of life saved. These costs are far below the benchmark of $50,000 per year of life saved that is a commonly accepted threshold for measuring cost-effectiveness of public health interventions, study authors write.

These studies show that investing in programs that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart and fiscally responsible thing to do.  It saves lives AND money. We urge Congress to ensure that campaigns like Tips from Former Smokers are continued and expanded.

Tips, which continued in 2013 and this year, is the first federally-funded national media campaign to reduce tobacco use. It has been highly effective despite being on the air for only about 12 weeks a year and spending just a fraction of the $8.8 billion a year, or $1 million per hour, the tobacco industry spends to market its deadly and addictive products. The 2014 Surgeon General’s report called for conducting national mass media campaigns “at a high frequency level and exposure for 12 months a year for a decade or more.”

The states must also increase funding for proven tobacco prevention and cessation programs, including media campaigns. The states collect over $25 billion a year from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but spend less than two percent of it on these programs, falling far short of CDC recommendations. The states must increase their tobacco prevention and cessation efforts because the bill is just getting larger. (On Thursday, December 11, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups will release our annual report on state funding of tobacco prevention programs.)

There is growing evidence that tobacco prevention and cessation programs deliver a strong return on investment. A 2011 study in theAmerican Journal of Public Health found that Washington state saved more than $5 in tobacco-related hospitalization costs for every$1 spent during the first 10 years of its program.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 480,000 Americans every year. Despite our progress, 17.8 percent of U.S. adults and 15.7 percent of high school students still smoke. Without urgent action now, 5.6 million children alive today will die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases. The studies today remind us that this is an entirely winnable battle and that the cost of failing to do so is far too high.

Logo –

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


CDC’s 2016 Tips Campaign Recruitment

September 16, 2014


We are beginning our ad participant recruitment efforts for the 2016 Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign and would greatly appreciate your help to broadly share this information. Similar to previous Tips campaigns, we are conducting a national search to identify people who experienced smoking-related health problems and are willing to share their compelling stories.


We have developed the following 2016 Tips campaign recruitment materials and tools we hope you will find useful:


  • A letter signed by me with detailed information about our recruitment criteria
  • A sample e-mail for use by you and your colleagues (attached)
  • Two sample newsletter articles (attached)
  • Social media materials
    • Two Facebook images and sample posts and tweets (attached)
    • Both high- and low-resolution recruitment buttons and banners (attached) that your organization and partners can place on your respective Web sites
  • Links to recruitment flyers for the various conditions we are recruiting for, all of which are listed below


For more information, please visit the 2016 Tips recruitment Web site at



Timothy McAfee, MD, MPH

Director, Office on Smoking and Health

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Recruitment Letter from Dr. McAfee

Tips 2016 Sample Recruitment Partner Email

Tips 2016 Recruitment Partner Newsletter

Tips 2016 Social Media Content

Recruitment Banner low res

Recruitment Banner high res


New Report: Helping Smokers Quit 2014

July 23, 2014

The American Lung Association is pleased to announce the release of its 6th Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2014 report. The report provides an overview of tobacco cessation coverage in Medicaid, state employee health insurance and other private insurance. It also discusses recent changes in the healthcare system, specifically Affordable Care Act requirements and puts tobacco cessation coverage in the context of the changing landscape of healthcare. The report shows how far the United States has come in helping smokers quit and how much still needs to be done to help smokers quit. As in previous years, the report includes appendices with state-specific data.


Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage is a resource to focus media and policymakers’ attention on cessation coverage policy. The report can be downloaded here. Additionally, you will find our press release (also copied below) and other helpful materials at In particular, check out our new 2-pager on tobacco cessation coverage requirements before and after the Affordable Care Act.


Please feel free to forward this email to partners or other contacts. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Singleterry ( or Anne DiGiulio (


Thank you,

Jennifer Singleterry

Click Here to download the report


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                           Contact:           Gregg Tubbs

July 22, 2014                                                                                                 202-715-3469



American Lung Association Report Says Affordable Care Act Offers Landmark Opportunities to Save Lives, Money by Helping Smokers Quit

Policymakers, insurance plans and employers must now act to provide tools and treatments smokers need to quit
WASHINGTON (July 22, 2014) – With more than 8 million Americans now accessing health insurance through new options in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has never been a more crucial time for policymakers and insurance plans to act to save lives–and public dollars—by expanding and easing access to tools and treatments to help smokers quit, according to the American Lung Association’s “Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2014” report. Released today, the annual report notes that many lives and billions of state and federal dollars–including over $800 million in Medicaid spending–could be saved by ensuring that coverage under the ACA comprehensively helps smokers end their nicotine addiction. Read the rest of this entry »

CDC Releases New Ads About Smoking’s Harm

July 8, 2014



Dear Colleague,

The Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign resumes today, July 7th, with powerful new ads that feature seven people whose lives have been permanently affected by smoking. You can see these ads today at


The new ads focus on severe gum disease with tooth loss; lung cancer; head and neck cancer; preterm birth; and the health effects of smoking combined with HIV.

Information About the July Ad Buy

  • Beginning July 7th, the ads will run nationwide for 9 weeks on television, radio,billboards, online media, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Ad participants include:

o   Felicita and Brett, smokers who each started losing teeth to gum disease by age 40.CDC2

o   Amanda, a young mother who smoked during pregnancy and gave birth 2 months early.

o   Rose, who nearly lost a foot because of clogged blood vessels, then learned she had lung cancer, which later spread to
her brain.

o   Shawn, who developed throat cancer and lost his larynx.

o   Brian, who was in good health and managing his HIV when smoking led to a stroke.

o   Terrie, who has appeared in previous Tips campaigns, and shares a plea about quitting.

  • Two Spanish-language ads will run on national Spanish media channels. One features Rose, who has lung cancer, while a second features Felicita and Brett, who both lost teeth after smoking.


Resources and Promotion

o   Bios and additional interviews of the ad participants

o   Overviews of the health conditions featured in the campaign

o   Spanish-language content

o   “I’m Ready to Quit” practical tips for quitting smoking

o   Web badges and buttons to post on your site to link readers to the compelling personal stories on the Tips Web site

o   Prewritten matte articles that you can tailor for your newsletter, blog, or Web site

o   Printable Tips ads to hang in your workplace

  • Free materialsare available at the Tips From Former Smokers Download Center: include low-resolution TV ads; radio, online, print, and out-of-home ads; and public service announcements.


  • CDC’s Media Campaign Resource Center (MCRC) at offers broadcast-quality Tips ads and other tobacco counter-marketing ads for paid campaigns.


  • Faith leaders, public health advocates, health care providers, and other partners can find materials to answer questions about Tips ads—and guidance on how to start a conversation about quitting.

o partner pages offer posters, FAQs about quitlines, fact sheets for patients, a pocket-sized brief intervention card for office visits, a quick reference guide on treating tobacco dependence, and much more.

If you have additional questions about the 2014 Tips campaign, please contact



CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health