Cough. Wheeze. Call.

We were flipping through the channels the other night when we hit one of the new anti-smoking ads from the state Department of Health. The spot shows a guy gasping for breath as he suffers from smoking-induced emphysema. And... yow.

The commercial is embedded above. There's something so visceral and squirm-inducing about hearing the guy wheeze and gasp -- which is the point.

Doctors and researchers say these kinds of ads do spur people to call smoking quitlines. As Dr. Michael Cummings, who heads up a cancer prevention research division at Roswell Park in Buffalo, said last year while introducing a different set of anti-smoking spots: "People call the quitline when they get motivated, and you gotta get in their heads and get them moving, shake them up a little bit." [YouTube]

The state DOH has three spots currently running -- the one above, plus two others featuring a man talking through an electrolarynx about how throat cancer has kept him from swimming and his dream of being a major league umpire. (It appears that no children were made to cry this time.) The spots are scheduled to run until almost the end of September. [MSNBC] [Buffalo News]

A little more than 15 percent of adults in New York State were currently smokers in 2010, according to the data from the CDC. That's down from more than 21 percent in 2000. In that time, the state reports there has been a large decline in smoking among high school students -- 12.6 percent reported being current smokers in 2010 versus 27.1 percent in 2000. [CDC] [NYSDOH]

New York's smoking quitline is 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487).

Earlier on AOA: New York State has the highest cigarette taxes in the nation

Comments

These commercials spur me to immediately change the channel or hit the mute button!

so, when are they going to do one for obesity?
smoking is an easy target, everyone hates a smoker. obesity is a much bigger danger than smoking. my own mother has to carry an oxygen tank with her, she has never had a cigarette in her life. she sounds like the guy in the advert.
until there is a massive tax on mcdonald's as there is on cigarettes, i say america needs to stop demonizing cigarettes as much as it does and eat a few more salads.

by the way, i work in health care and i don't smoke. 90% of our patients are suffering from morbid obesity. being overweight can happen, becoming obese takes an effort!

For some reason my son finds this commercial HILARIOUS.

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