Photo of Tammy W.
Tammy, age 50, lives in Michigan. She is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians tribe. She started smoking menthol cigarettes at age 21. Tammy ate healthy, exercised regularly, and ran marathons. But at age 44, Tammy learned she had severe heart disease and needed open-heart surgery. (Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

With Support from a Member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribe the CDC Launches a New Tips from Former Smokers Campaign

Tobacco companies aggressively market menthol-flavored tobacco products to different groups of people.  This targeted marketing contributes to certain groups being more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than other groups.  Young people, racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+ people, women, people with a low income, and people with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than other population groups.

As highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control, in 2024, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults in the United States have a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking than most other racial/ethnic groups in the United States.  Although cigarette smoking prevalence in the U.S general population has declined in recent years, prevalence among the AI/AN population remains high.  In 2020, 27.1% AI/AN adults in the United States smoked cigarettes, compared with about 12.5% of U.S. adults overall.

Tammy W., a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribe, shares her story in the Tips campaign.  Tammy ate healthy, exercised regularly, and ran marathons.  She thought that menthol cigarettes were less harmful than non-menthol cigarettes.

At age 44, Tammy Learned she had severe heart disease and had to have emergency open-heart surgery.

She quit smoking after her surgery.  “Open-heart surgery and the possibility of dying motivated me,” Tammy said.  “Life is a gift.  I want to stay here as long as I can.”

The new campaign ads air beginning February 5, 2024, through September 22, 2024.

“The Tips ads show the challenges real people face every day as a result of smoking in a way that statistics cannot,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, PhD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.  “We are grateful to all of the people featured in the Tips campaign for sharing their personal stories about how smoking has negatively impacted their lives.  By providing information, resources, and motivation, the Tips campaign has helped save lives.”

Tammy’s Tips from Former Smokers story will be airing on broadcast television in February and April.  Tammy’s Tip story will also air on national radio in 23 states throughout 2024. A print version of Tammy’s Tip story will also be running in Alaska Magazine and Navajo Times reaching Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado throughout 2024. Additional resources are available at .

CDC launched the first federally funded national tobacco education campaign, Tips, in March 2012.  From 2012-2018, CDC estimates that approximately one million people successfully quit smoking and millions more tried to quit because of the Tips campaign.

For more information about the Tips campaign and resources for quitting smoking, visit  For help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).


Additional resources for partners and media

Today new information and materials are available online in English and 
 On the Tips website you will find:


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