The government has revamped its strategy for getting people to kick the smoking habit, and the new campaign is about to hit TV and radio air waves and billboards, magazines and newspapers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will run ads containing graphic, eye-catching images of health problems that can come from cigarette smoking, such as heart surgery, a tracheotomy, lost limbs or paralysis.
The $54 million campaign is the largest and starkest anti-smoking push by the CDC.
After aggressive anti-smoking campaigns in the past succeeded in substantially cutting back the percentage of people who smoke, the smoking rate has now stalled at about 20 percent.
The CDC hopes the ads will get as many as 50,000 Americans to kick the habit.