The woman featured in a well-known anti-smoking ad was characterized as a “public health hero” following her death this week in North Carolina.
Terrie Hall, who had her voicebox
removed and faced other severe physical complications, was 53.
She played a leading role in the Centers for Disease Control’s national “Tips from Former Smokers” ad campaign, which depicted the dangers of smoking in profound, and arguably graphic, ways.
- Are Graphic Warnings the Most Effective Way to Stop People From Smoking?
Last week, the CDC released results of a study that concluded that 100,000 smokers had quit permanently because of the ad campaign, which started in 2012. That was double the number it had set as a goal.
Graphic warnings of the dangers of smoking have become more numerous in recent years.
TheTruth.com, which targets the actions of “Big Tobacco” in its Ugly Truth ads, uses shocking messages in accusing tobacco companies of manipulating the public into buying their products. The organization says it’s not anti-smoking, although its ads don’t portray smoking in a positive way. One ad says cigarettes have the same ingredients as found in dog feces and cat urine.
While the CDC efforts has been effective, there is some concern that the graphic nature of campaigns like “Tips from Former Smokers” may not be the best way to reach young people.
Wellcome Trust, a London-based health foundation, argues that positive messages — like having more money, and healthier skin — are more effective in getting young people to stop or not start smoking.
What do you think of graphic anti-smoking ads and images? Are they too much, or exactly what we need to see because of the health realities some smokers have faced? Tell us in the comments below.