Increases in quitline calls and smoking cessation website visitors during a national tobacco education campaign--March 19-June 10, 2012

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Aug 31;61(34):667-70.


Mass media campaigns and telephone quitlines are effective in increasing cessation rates among cigarette smokers. During March 19-June 10, 2012, CDC aired Tips from Former Smokers (TIPS), the first federally funded, nationwide, paid-media tobacco education campaign in the United States. The TIPS campaign featured former smokers talking about their experiences living with diseases caused by smoking. The campaign was primarily intended to encourage adult smokers aged 18-54 years to quit by making them aware of the health damage caused by smoking and letting them know that they could call the telephone quitline portal 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) smoking cessation website ( if they needed free help to quit. The campaign included advertising on national and local cable television, local radio, online media, and billboards, and in movie theaters, transit venues, and print media. To determine the effects of the TIPS campaign on weekly quitline call volume and weekly unique visitors to the cessation website, CDC analyzed call and visitor data immediately before, during, and immediately after the campaign period and compared them with data from the corresponding weeks in 2011. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that the number of weekly calls to the quitline from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico increased 132% (207,519 additional calls) during the TIPS campaign, and the number of unique visitors to the cessation website increased 428% (510,571 additional unique visitors). These results indicate that many smokers are interested in quitting and learning more about cessation assistance, and will respond to motivational messages that include an offer of help.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Health Promotion
  • Hotlines / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hotlines / trends
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Media
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • United States
  • Young Adult