The campaign originally ran from 2012 to 2018. According to the CDC, it resulted in 16.4 million smokers attempting to quit. Of those, one million were successful, CDC surveys indicate.
The new campaign shares the stories of 45 former smokers on television and radio, online and in print. Among them are seven stories that focus on the harms of menthol cigarettes. These cigarettes have become especially prevalent among historically marginalized communities, and have contributed to worsening tobacco-related health disparities, the CDC said.
While the number of U.S. smokers has fallen, the proportion of those who smoke menthols has been on the rise. The CDC says young people, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ people, women, people with low incomes and those with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than other groups.
According to the CDC, menthol masks the taste and smell of cigarettes and anesthetizes the throat, making it easier to inhale the smoke. It also enhances the effects of nicotine on the brain and can make cigarettes even more addictive.