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Graphic anti-smoking ads having an impact
Graphic anti-smoking ads are prompting thousands to quit the habit.
The CDC says 1.6 million Americans tried to quit because of them, and 100-thousand did.
The first round of ads ran from March through May of last year, followed by a second one this past spring.
A third round is planned for next year.
Channel Three's Jenise Fernandez tells us what locals have to say about these anti-smoking ads.
The CDC says these ads are doing exactly what they're intended to do, and that is to scare smokers into quitting.
These ads were part of the first federally funded anti-smoking ad campaign price tagged at 54-million dollars.
You've probably seen these ads before; real people living with diseases and injuries caused by smoking, in some cases, the stories are graphic.
"I think they're very effective. i had a hard time watching them even when I was still smoking."
Deeann Lee smoked for 16 years. She recently kicked the habitat and is taking a smoking cessation class at Healthy Lives Wellness Center.
Although her motivation to quit was for healthy reasons, seeing those ads was eye-opening.
"When I see people smoking... I don't want that to be"
Smoking cessation classes started at the wellness center in 2007.
Instructor, Nicole Larson, says the number of people signing up has steadily increased over the years.
And many who come in do so because of the ads they see.
"We hear a lot about the ads....the ads did scare them."
The classes help smokers with stress management, exercise and nutrition, and behavioral changes.
Larson says the classes have a 30 percent success rate.
"It's an addiction not just a bad habit.. not just something they've learned."
The CDC study also found that during their campaign, the toll-free quit hotline got 132 percent more calls and its website, smokefree.gov. attracted 500-thousand more visitors than usual.
"It's still hard.... I don't want to smoke"
Anyone interested in taking those classes, there's a new class each month.
The program lasts four weeks, the next one will be in October.
Reporting in Escambia County, Jenise Fernandez, Channel Three News.