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Motivation to Quit

Motivation to Quit

State Department of Health Introduces Hard-Hitting Smoking Cessation Ads

July 28, 2010

The New York State Department of Health began airing a statewide television advertising campaign on Aug. 3 that is sure to make New Yorkers pay attention. In fact, many New Yorkers will not like the TV spots.

“These commercials are designed to motivate smokers to quit,” State Commissioner Richard Daines said at the unveiling of the new ads at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, the location of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. “Some viewers may complain the ads are too graphic or emotional, but research shows strong images and messages are necessary to get smokers’ attention.”

The campaign includes two high sensation ads – Separation and Artery – and they will each run statewide in August and September. The New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program sponsored Artery which featured a surgeon squeezing fatty deposits from the arteries of a smoker.

Separation focuses on a mother and her young son walking through a train station. Within seconds, the mother has vanished, the boy is alone, and viewers witness the long, painful emotional reaction of her son when he realizes she's gone. The announcer then says, "If this is how your child feels after losing you for a minute, just imagine if they lost you for life." The closing message: "Quit smoking now for your child."

The campaign is funded by a $1.8 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant (the grant also will enable the DOH to run ads in August and September of 2011).

"With the media environment the way it is, you have to break through the clutter -- get people's attention," said Jeffrey Willett, director of the New York state health department's tobacco control program. "You have to then back that up with a compelling message." 

Different colors, same old lies.

On June 22, 2010, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited manufacturers from producing any tobacco products labeled or advertised as “light,” “low,” or “mild.” The purpose of the ban is to eliminate labels which give consumers the false impression that the products are different and safer.

In June, Philip Morris started a new color scheme for their cigarette packaging: Marlboro Regular is Marlboro Red, Marlboro Light is Marlboro Gold, Marlboro Mild became Marlboro Blue and Marlboro Ultra-lights became Marlboro Silver.

Don’t be fooled by the color of the package, all cigarettes contain the same poisons that make you sick and kill you.