The federal government's latest tactic to discourage smoking may be working.
More than twice the number of people called an anti-smoking hotline last week following the rollout of a graphic new ad campaign that depicts horrifying health consequences that befall those who choose to light up.
The ads highlight conditions such as laryngectomy, limb loss and paralysis. One print ad depicts a 50-year-old seemingly in the midst of a normal, everyday routine--shaving--until the audience realizes he's moving his razor down towards a gaping hole in his neck, where he had a tracheotomy due to cancer.
The campaign, which consists of billboard, print, radio and TV ads, is too new for health officials to assess if it will ultimately have a significant impact on getting smokers to quit, but the early results have thrilled the medical community.
"This is just a rough indicator, but it's a very encouraging one," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. The CDC is behind the ad campaign.