Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, March 15, 2012

CDC Launches Graphic Anti-Smoking Campaign

The CDC launched a graphic ad campaign on the grim effects of smoking. (CDC)

The CDC launched a graphic ad campaign on the grim effects of smoking. (CDC)


Tobacco taxes and smoking bans haven’t budged the U.S. smoking rate in years. Now the government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with a graphic nationwide advertising campaign.

The billboards and print, radio and TV ads show people whose smoking resulted in heart surgery, a tracheotomy, lost limbs or paralysis. The $54 million campaign is the largest and starkest anti-smoking push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its first national advertising effort.

The agency is hoping the spots, which begin Monday, will persuade as many as 50,000 Americans to stop smoking.
“This is incredibly important. It’s not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a telephone interview.

That bold prediction is based on earlier research that found aggressive anti-smoking campaigns using hard-hitting images sometimes led to decreases in smoking. After decades of decline, the U.S. smoking rate has stalled at about 20 percent in recent years.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 7 219 Comments

Lawsuit Challenges Transgender Locker Room Access At Planet Fitness

We hear a counterargument to our conversation earlier this week about how to accommodate transgender people in gyms.

October 7 12 Comments

‘I Drive Your Truck’ Songwriter Now Drives Her Brother’s Truck

Like the real-life story that inspired her hit song, Connie Harrington now drives a pickup truck to remember a loved one who died.

October 7 Comment

How To Make Your Own Shrub For Sodas And Cocktails

The vinegar and fruit syrup can be made into a refreshing drink – or even used in sweet and savory dishes.

October 6 58 Comments

Former Sandy Hook Teacher On Moving Forward After Tragedy

Kaitlin Roig-Debellis explains how she worked through her grief after the tragic shooting in her new book "Choosing Hope."