Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Participate and Help Others to Quit

"What's been overwhelming for me really, honestly, has been the people that have come up and said thank you. They've said 'thank you' and 'that because of you, I quit smoking'.

And, you know, to me that's what the program, the campaign was all about. Was to help save lives."

Terrie Hall, 1960-2013
2012, 2013 and 2014 Participant

About theTips Campaign

Are you an ex-smoker and want to tell your story? Over the past few years, we’ve had more than 25 people share their real stories on what smoking has done to them through the Tips From Former Smokers campaign. Those stories have inspired hundreds of thousands of people to quit smoking for good. This is your chance to join them and keep what’s happened to you from happening to others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first-ever national tobacco education campaign - Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) in March 2012. The Tips campaign features real people - not actors - living with a serious illness from smoking and secondhand smoke. The campaign continues today to deliver messages to inspire smokers to quit.

The goals of the campaign are to:

  • Increase awareness of the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke.
  • Encourage smokers to quit.
  • Let smokers know where they can go for help with quitting.
  • Encourage smokers not to smoke around others.
  • Encourage nonsmokers to protect themselves and their families from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Your Story Can Inspire Others

Do You Qualify?

a) Are you a former smoker with anxiety or depression who also has a serious health condition due to smoking?

b) Are you a former smoker who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis while you smoked?

c) Are you a former smoker who used electronic cigarettes along with regular cigarettes? Did you use electronic cigarettes because you thought cutting back on regular cigarettes was better for your health?

Are You Willing To?

Share your story and assume the necessary paperwork involved with the recruitment process?

Travel within the U.S. for filming and recording?

Submit to a background check?

Ask your doctor to verify that smoking contributed to your health condition?

What We Provide:

Initial recruitment payment of $2500.

All travel and lodging expenses to the location for the filming and recording.

Ongoing and residual talent fees based on Screen Actors Guild (SAG) rates and guidelines.

Contact Us:

For more information on becoming an ad participant, please submit the form below.

Tips Campaign Recruitment Form*

*All information collected in this form will be treated with confidentiality.


Why Should I Sign Up?

Past participants in the Tips campaign have said that this was their opportunity to make a difference and help other smokers quit. They speak about how the Tips campaign helped provide some perspective to their lives while also making a difference to benefit others. More than the financial compensation, participants talk about how good they feel knowing that they helped others live healthier lives.

Who Is Responsible for This Campaign?

The Tips From Former Smokers campaign is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

How Are Participants Selected?

Participants are selected based on a number of factors. These include having one or more of the sought health conditions or having a compelling story about how smoking has impacted their lives. Initially, participants are reviewed based on basic information about their smoking history and corresponding health issues. Later in the process a background check will also be conducted. These steps are required to ensure that the campaign is both accurate and effective. The only way to know for sure if you might be eligible to become a participant is to contact us via the email or by phone number listed on this website.

When Will I Know if I am Selected?

The selection process may take many weeks and depends on how many applications we receive. You will be contacted promptly if you are a good fit and if we want to move your application to the next phase.

How Will I Be Paid/Compensated?

All travel, lodging and expenses will be paid for you to attend the filming, photography, and recording sessions. In addition, you will be paid a $2,500 fee for participation. Once the ads begin running, you will be paid talent rates consistent with the Screen Actors Guild. These rates vary widely depending on how long and at what level your ads are placed in the media.

How Much Personal Information Will Be Shared?

Your first name, age, and your home state will be included in the advertising as well as answers to questions about your personal health and your smoking history. All other personal identifying information is kept strictly confidential unless you choose to share it on your own.

Will I Need A Medical Exam?

No. The CDC will verify your medical history and records through a medical affidavit, a written statement signed by your doctor. Should any questions arise, your doctor may be contacted.

When Would I Be Expected to Travel?

The timing for production of the ads has not yet been determined but would likely be sometime early in 2015. The length of the production period can vary from a couple of days to a week.

Are There Any Rehearsals?

No, all you are expected to know is your story. You will be asked questions specific to you and your cigarette smoking, your health, and your life. You will have the opportunity to see and approve all questions prior to filming. All filming will be done by professionals and trained crews.

What Happens On The Production?

You (and a companion if necessary) will meet with the CDC team, director, and production agencies at the beginning of the process, prior to filming, for a wardrobe fitting. On the day of your shoot, you will work with the director to read a script to tell your story for the camera (if you bring a companion, he or she will be able to watch.)

What If I Don't Have Any Experience In Front Of A Camera?

No experience is necessary. You are not expected nor encouraged to have any prior experience in front of a camera. The campaign is based on real people telling their stories about living with tobacco-related illnesses and how smoking has impacted their lives.

Will I Only Be On TV?

Each participant will typically participate in a combination of TV, radio, print, and online ads. Specifics ad formats will be determined during the production process.

Where Will My Ad Run?

The Tips From Former Smokers campaign is a national campaign so all advertising runs in all 50 states across the country and online.

When Will My Ad Run?

The launch of the campaign is tentatively planned for early 2016.

Past Campaign Results*


Participants in the advertising


Calls to the Quitline during campaign


Smokers who tried to quit


Smokers who quit smoking!

* 2012 Campaign Results According to Lancet 2013

You Can Make A Difference

Meet Past Participants