Media Advisory: Experts, Former Smokers Available to Comment on New CDC Ads

Thursday, March 15, 2012

WHAT:  Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) experts and former smokers with life-changing consequences from their tobacco use are available to comment on a new hard-hitting national ad campaign highlighting the health consequences of smoking, and to draw attention to the free resources available through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.   

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced the launch of “Tips from Former Smokers,” a national tobacco-education ad campaign that seeks to educate the public about the harmful effects of smoking and life after diagnosis with a medical condition caused by smoking. The ads will air in New York state from March 19 to June 4.

WHO:                    
Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD, Medical Director, New York State Smokers’ Quitline, and Associate Professor, Departments of Health Behavior and Medicine, RPCI

Maansi Bansal-Travers, PhD, Research Scientist in RPCI’s Department of Health Behavior

• Former smokers who have undergone laryngectomies and members of the New Voice Club of the Niagara Frontier

WHEN:  Thursday, March 15, and Friday, March 16

CONTACT:  To request an interview or additional information, please contact Annie Deck-Miller at 716-845-8593 or annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org        

QUOTES:  What RPCI experts are saying:

“Smoking is so incredibly damaging because it affects nearly every organ system in the body, and those impacts are long-term,” notes Dr. Mahoney. “It’s going to hurt your productivity, it’s going to hurt your quality of life and it’s going to shorten your life expectancy. So we have to keep getting the message out there and directing people to the free, evidence-based resources available through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.”

“We’ve done a lot of research on what kind of cessation messaging people respond to most, and we’ve found that hard-hitting, graphic testimonials get people’s attention, and they also get them to respond, to take action,” adds Dr. Travers. “One reason graphic or emotionally charged ads are effective is that they reflect the true consequences of tobacco use. They know they’re hearing from real people who have seen these very real impacts in their lives.”

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at RPCI. New Yorkers can call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; outside those times, taped messages offer support and help to quit smoking. Resources are available anytime day or night through the Smokers’ Quitsite, www.nysmokefree.com.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org