"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
Are you an ex-smoker and want to tell your story? Over the past seven years, we’ve had more than 30 people share their real stories on what smoking has done to them and their families through the Tips From Former Smokers® campaign. Those stories have inspired more than half a million people to quit smoking for good. This is your chance to join other Tips participants to help prevent the suffering that comes with smoking-related illnesses from happening to others.
In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first-ever national tobacco education campaign, Tips From Former Smokers (Tips). 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.
This year we’re looking for:
The goals of the campaign are to:
Are you a former smoker who was diagnosed with any of the following due to smoking?
Are you a former smoker who was diagnosed with any of the following due to smoking, and have a loved one who cares for you regularly who would like to share their story as well?
Share your story and complete the necessary paperwork involved with the recruitment process?
Travel within the United States for filming and recording?
Agree to a background check?
Ask your doctor to verify in writing that smoking contributed to your health condition?
Initial recruitment payment of $2,500 per Tips campaign participant (former smoker and loved one/family member)
All travel and lodging expenses to the location for the filming and recording.
For more information on becoming an ad participant, please submit the form below.
*All information collected in this form will be treated with confidentiality.
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.
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.
Participants are selected based on a number of factors. These include having one or more of the sought health conditions and having a compelling story about how smoking has impacted their lives. Participants also must have quit smoking more than six months ago. Initially, candidates 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 address or by phone number listed on this website.
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.
All travel, lodging, and expenses will be paid for you to attend the filming, photography, and recording sessions. In addition, those featured in the ad(s) will be paid a $2,500 fee for participation.
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.
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.
The timing for production of the ads has not yet been determined but would likely be sometime late in 2018. The length of the production period can vary from a couple of days to a week.
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.
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).
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.
Each participant will typically participate in some combination of TV, radio, print, and online ads. Specific ad formats will be determined during the production process.
The Tips From Former Smokers campaign is a national campaign so all advertising runs in all 50 states and online.
The launch of the campaign is tentatively planned for mid 2019.
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
"Through Facebook and e-mail, everybody would say, oh, I just saw you on TV, and these guys are all from around the country. And so, it's really fun, it was cool."
"I truly feel blessed to be a part of the whole thing and to, you know, do something to help someone else—prevent them from having to go through what I had to go through."
“If people see me and know a little bit about my story, they might have second thoughts about even starting to smoke, and you just put your modesty aside when you’re doing the right thing.”