An anti-smoking campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year generated more than 150,000 additional calls from people interested in quitting, according to a report in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign also generated almost 2.8 million additional visitors to the campaign website, which  features information on the campaign, as well as information on how to quit smoking from the National Cancer Institute.

These figures represent a 75 percent increase in call volume and a nearly 38-fold increase in unique website
visitors, compared with the four weeks before the campaign began in March. The analysis also found that average
weekly calls fell by 41 percent and website visitors fell by 96 percent during the four weeks after the campaign
ended in June.

The 2013 campaign’s television component included national ads in all 210 U.S. television markets and
additional local ads in 67 of these markets.

The number of calls fell by 38 percent during the six weeks when the national television ads were off the air, compared with the six weeks when the national ads were airing.

These findings suggest that a longer campaign with sustained broad reach could produce more quit attempts and successful long-term quits, the report said.

The CDC’s  Tips From Former Smokers campaign has been successful since it first began in 2012. It was the federal public health agency’s largest and starkest anti-smoking push, and its first national advertising effort.

A study released in the journal The Lancet this month found that about 1.6 million smokers tried quitting — and about 100,000 succeeded — after seeing the first ad campaign.

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