While watching TV this weekend, I happened on a gruesomely powerful anti-smoking advertisement. It featured former smokers who were missing body parts: a woman with missing fingers, and a handsome young man with two prosthetic devices where his lower legs used to be. Both talked matter-of-factly about their permanent disabilities, which were direct consequences of their long-time cigarette habits.
This ad is part of a new, $54-million campaign by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the most ambitious and starkest anti-tobacco campaign ever undertaken by the government. Other ads in the campaign show ex-smokers who have had their larynx removed, or a jaw or a lung. The ads are running on radio, in print, and on billboards, as well, where federal health officials hope to shock smokers into quitting the cigarette habit.
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