The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through its Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), plays a leading role in the nation’s fight to reduce tobacco use and the death and disease it causes. The CDC conducts national media campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of smoking, provides critical assistance to state tobacco prevention and cessation efforts, and conducts essential research, including regular surveys of youth and adult tobacco use in the United States.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids works to ensure that the CDC’s life-saving tobacco control programs are fully funded by Congress. By preventing kids from using tobacco and helping adults to quit, these programs help reduce cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other serious and costly diseases caused by tobacco use.

Our efforts include supporting the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the nation’s only dedicated investment in programs that address risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. A fully-funded prevention fund is critical to ensure that the CDC can continue its work to reduce the toll of tobacco in the U.S.

The CDC’s key initiatives include:

  • The Tips from Former Smokers media campaign, which features real people who are living with serious health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Since its launch in 2012, the Tips campaign has motivated about five million smokers to try to quit, helped about 500,000 smokers to quit successfully and saved at least 50,000 lives, according to the CDC. At a cost of less than $400 for each year of life saved, it is considered a “best buy” in public health.

  • Support for tobacco cessation quitlines in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Quitlines are telephone-based counseling services for tobacco users who are seeking help quitting. Smokers who use quitlines are two to three times more likely to successfully quit compared to those who try to quit on their own. While all states provide some level of quitline services, the level and quality of services vary greatly depending on funding. CDC funding ensures that state quitlines can handle surges in volume caused by the Tips campaign.

  • Funding and technical assistance for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 8 U.S. territories and 12 tribal organizations. The CDC helps states implement evidence-based programs and provides technical assistance and support to states for the planning, development and evaluation of these programs. It also coordinates communication among states and territories so they can learn from one another.

  • Expansion of the evidence base. The CDC conducts and coordinates scientific surveys that have long been the nation’s primary source of data on tobacco use among youth and adults, such as the National Youth Tobacco Survey and the National Adult Tobacco Survey. CDC researchers also regularly evaluate the state of the science to document the scope and causes of the tobacco problem and the most effective solutions.

Last updated Sept. 19, 2017