Real people. Real stories. The real impact of tobacco

Education campaign returns with powerful stories to help Island County residents quit smoking

As a high school student wanting to fit in, Christine began smoking at age 16. She became addicted and continued smoking for 28 years, before her life changed forever in 2007.

At age 44, a biopsy of a growth inside her cheek revealed oral cancer. After 35 radiation treatments and chemotherapy, she seemed cured, but the cancer returned in 2008; this time surgery was her only option. Her third bout in 2009 was even more serious. The cancer had spread to her jawbone, classifying it as stage IV, and doctors had to remove half of her jaw.

Today, at age 55, Christine has been smoke-free for 11 years.

Christine’s story is one of several shared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the CDC again tells the stories of real people living with the effects of smoking-related diseases and secondhand smoke exposure.

The Tips From Former Smokers campaign shares how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking. Each real story represents thousands and thousands of Americans suffering from similar illnesses caused by smoking.

“All of the Tips ad participants are heroes,” said Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By courageously sharing their painful personal stories, they’re inspiring millions of Americans to make the life-saving decision to quit smoking.”

“These ads bring to life the devastating effects of smoking, helping people quit and encouraging those who aren’t smoking never to start,” says Nicole Marley, public health coordinator with Island County Public Health. “As a public health official, I know all too well the terrible toll of smoking. Island County Public Health is committed to helping our residents know the reality of smoking-related disease and death – and to prevent these realities from happening to them.”

The campaign counters the more than $8.7 billion that was spent on advertising and promotion of cigarettes in 2016 – more than $23 million every day and nearly $1 million every hour.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing about 480,000 Americans each year. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, at least 30 more suffer at least one serious illness from smoking.

Nearly 70 per cent of smokers say they want to quit. Here’s the resources to do so.

Call 1-800-QUIT NOW: This toll-free number accesses free quitting support across the country, or visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view personal stories from the campaign and for free help quitting.

More in Marketplace

Kick off the holiday season in Oak Harbor with these festive fundraisers

Festival of Trees gala weekend important for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Island County

The Hive Salon is a-buzz – find out why!

The Hive Salon team has been busy for the past few years,… Continue reading

5 great ways to make your fall look fabulous

Enjoying some ‘you time’ and getting Polished in Oak Harbor has never been easier

Make a BIG difference in a child’s life today

Building connections with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County

Retirement community is the ‘perfect alternative’ for seniors

Regency on Whidbey brings independence to living and quality to life

Why caring for YOU needs to be top of mind

Oak Harbor esthetitian and trainer a leader in hair and skincare

Be a hero! Come watch the hydros in Oak Harbor

Exciting fast-action fundraiser ahead at the fourth annual Hydros for Heroes, Aug. 24 to 25

Buying, building or selling? Local experience matters

If you’re buying or selling a home on Whidbey Island, you deserve local expertise

Medical or recreational: Cannabis consultants find the right solution for you

Consultants advise on a wide range of products to relieve symptoms, promote relaxation

Help is here: A substance-free life begins with asking for help

New Everett health centre can help you on the road to recovery

See the best wheels on Whidbey at free Show and Shine

Inaugural Whidbey Island Car Show features wide range of vehicles, with proceeds to local charities

Welcome Home to compassionate, engaging senior care

Oak Harbor residence creates a setting seniors want to come home to