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CDC Urges Smokers to “Talk With Your Doctor” About Quitting

May 22, 2013

“When you’re 15, it’s hard to imagine the consequences of your decisions. I never thought I would suffer this much,” said former smoker Bill Busse, who lost vision in his left eye and had his leg amputated because smoking worsened his diabetes.

Bill is one of the participants in the CDC’s “Tips from Former Smokers” national ad campaign, which today rolled out a “Talk with Your Doctor” initiative. The initiative is intended both to motivate tobacco users to look to their health care providers for help in quitting, and to encourage doctors to start that conversation with their patients.

Surveys show that about 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit. A doctor’s support can double the chances that a smoker will be successful in quitting, according to Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

The CDC launched the second year of its “Tips from Former Smokers” ads in April. Upcoming ads will urge smokers to “talk with your doctor.” As of May 5, the ad campaign has resulted in 200,000 additional calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW beyond usual levels.

Through partnerships, doctors will be offered training and information on tobacco interventions. Partners involved are the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Visit to see the ads and learn more about the former smokers involved.