Government anti-smoking campaign pulling no punches

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The images are ones you wish you hadn't seen, that didn't exist, but they're real and they're going to be airing on a television channel near you for the next 12 weeks. They are part of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) in-your-face anti-smoking campaign.

The imagery--which features people whose lives and bodies have become disfigured due to smoking, whether from lung or throat cancers, heart disease, or other diseases associated with smoking--is being brought to the public without apology.

"Tobacco continues to kill 443,000 Americans every year," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "And for every person who dies from smoking, at least two new young smokers take their place."

"As a nation we know what works," added Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. "So today we're going to educate the public with an aggressive media campaign."

"Our nation has reduced tobacco use by half since the first surgeon general's report [on smoking came out] in 1964," she added. "But since 2003 our progress has stalled. One in five adults in the U.S. continues to smoke."

Pulmonary issues are especially relevant in patients with both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas because effective existing treatments can often damage the lungs, whether through toxic chemotherapeutic drugs such as bleomycin, or through radiotherapy to the chest. Patients who are diagnosed and who smoke often have a more difficult time in recovery.

Source: Smokefree.gov

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