A new government anti-smoking campaign will include radio and print ads that question e-cigarettes' value in helping smokers quit.
The campaign is the latest installment of the "Tips From Former Smokers" series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to The Wall Street Journal.
The series was launched in 2012 to highlight tobacco's dangers.
One of the new ads features Kristy, a 35-year-old who tried using e-cigarettes to quit smoking cigarettes but ended up using both products instead of quitting. Kristy then suffered a collapsed lung, and was diagnosed with early chronic obstructive pulmonary disease before she quit smoking completely. In the ad caption, Kristy says, "I started using e-cigarettes but kept smoking. Right up until my lung collapsed."
Tim McAfee, senior medical officer at the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, says the agency decided to include e-cigarettes because the majority of users are not quitting smoking. "Our core message is cutting down is not sufficient," he said.
In a news release, the CDC notes that nationally, about three in four adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes. "If you only cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke by adding another tobacco product, like e-cigarettes, you still face serious health risks. Smokers must quit smoking completely to fully protect their health — even a few cigarettes a day are dangerous," the CDC states.
The ads will run starting March 30 for 20 weeks.
In December, the CDC announced "Tips From Former Smokers" cost just $480 per smoker who quit and $393 per year of life saved. The anti-tobacco ad campaign, which featured graphic images, helped 100,000 people quit smoking, the CDC said. An estimated 1.6 million people tried to quit smoking after they saw the anti-smoking ad campaign. Almost 80 percent of American smokers saw the 2012 campaign.