In March, 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first ever paid national tobacco education campaign – Tips From Former Smokers® (Tips®). The Tips campaign profiles real people who are living with serious long-term health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
Since its launch, Tips has featured compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll these conditions have taken on them. The campaign, which continues through 2019, has also featured nonsmokers who have experienced life-threatening episodes as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke. To learn more about Tips From Former Smokers®, visit the campaign’s website.
Currently, about 7.5 million Americans ages 65 and older are living with a mental illness and 4.5 million older adults use tobacco. Older adults are less likely to utilize existing smoking cessation programs despite research that indicates more successful quit attempts when they are engaged in cessation activities. To highlight the stories of older adults who have successfully quit smoking, the National Behavioral Health Network would like to share the Tips from Former Smokers® campaign featuring older adults over age fifty five. It’s never too late to quit!
- Brian’s Tip: Meet Brian H. Brian, age 63, lives in Texas. An Air Force veteran, Brian had his first heart attack at age 35 while he was stationed in England. He quit smoking in 2009 and received a heart transplant in July 2012. While Brian remained smokefree, the damage caused by years of smoking continues to affect his body. In January 2017, Brian was diagnosed with lung cancer and had part of his lung removed.
- Suzy’s Tip: Meet Suzy. Suzy, age 62, lives in New York and began smoking at age 15. At age 57, Suzy suffered a stroke that caused her to have partial paralysis and problems with her speech and eyes.
- Marie’s Tip: Meet Marie. Marie, age 62 lives in New York and began smoking in high school. Diagnosed with Buerger’s disease in her forties, Marie had undergone amputations of part of her right foot, her left leg, and several fingertips.