ATLANTA — Health officials say a graphic new anti-smoking campaign led to a doubling of calls to a toll-free number that helps people quit cigarettes.
Calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW totaled more than 33,000 last week — the first week of the ad campaign. The phone line received less than 14,500 calls the week before.
Meanwhile, clicks to the www.smokefree.gov website, another government smoking cessation service, rose from about 20,000 to about 66,000. Those were the largest jumps in traffic the 7-year-old phone line and Web site had seen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the numbers Friday. The CDC's $54 million, 12-week campaign is the agency's first national anti-smoking advertising effort, and features hard-hitting images of people who developed cancer and other illnesses from smoking.
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