An anti-smoking campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has people viewing smoking in a different way. CDC workers said they are seeing results.
The goal of the program was to get 500,000 people to try to quit smoking. The CDC did not have an estimate on the number who actually tried, but about 190,000 people called into its national quit-line. More than 400,000 people visited SmokeFree.gov during the 12-week campaign.
Graphic anti-smoking ads ran for about 12 weeks.
Some health professionals think these images may not impact a young audience.
"Kids today are so inundated with gross pictures, it's so routine anymore, that maybe it doesn't impact them as much," said Director of Community Wellness at Augusta Health Linda Gail Johnson.
Sarah Butzen is a Valley neighbor who thought the ads may be too repulsive.
“It's disturbing enough that you might not look long enough to get the message,” said Butzen.
Butzen thought kids may be more concerned with more immediate effects.
"You're winded. You can't participate in sports. You smell bad. No one wants to go on a date with you.”
Young people seem to think that smoking now, will not affect them later in life.
"If they really know someone who has struggled with tobacco and is now a patient on an oxygen tank, I think it's always the personal story that really helps," said Johnson.
These ads may not push people far enough to quit smoking.
"I think it's really a choice when it comes down to it. You're not going to make someone stop doing something unless they want to do it themselves," said Aaron Molly, a Bridgewater College student.
There are ways to get help right here in the Valley. The Community Wellness Center at Augusta Health has a program called “Gain Independence from Tobacco.” Classes are available during the fall, winter and spring.
You can register online or by calling Augusta Health at 540) 332 - 4988. Registration is on-going.
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