Government Warnings About Smoking - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Government Warnings About Smoking

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"I saw that, I saw that."

35-year-old Taniqua Russell has seen the graphic ads on television showing the effects of smoking.

One spot featured a former smoker who had throat cancer.

The commercials, which ran last year, and earlier this year are part of federally-funded campaign, to get smokers to quit.

Russell, who's been smoking for 16 years, said they were hard to watch.

"When I see commercials like that, I turn."

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the 2012 ad campaign was a huge success.

According to a new study, more than a million and a half Americans tried to quit smoking because of the ads, and researchers estimate the commercials helped 100,000 people kick the habit for good.

"The TIPS campaign worked because it showed the reality of smoking. Suffering, disability, disfigurement, people not able to go about their daily lives," says CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

The CDC says the ad campaign cost about $54 million, which health officials admit is a lot of money. But they say the tobacco industry spends that much on ads in three days.

But Russell says the commercials have not helped her beat her addiction.

"I have tried to quit multiple times, it is extremely hard to do. I did it for 30 days and I failed."

Government health officials urge smokers like Russell to keep trying.

And they plan another round of the ads next year.

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