John B. tried several different strategies to quit smoking, but he continued to struggle with nicotine addiction. He found a doctor who prescribed medicines and counseling that helped him finally quit. In this TV ad, from CDC’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign, John shares his tip: keep trying to quit. You only have to quit for good once.


John, age 61, smoked his first cigarette at the age of 8. By the time he was 16, he was buying his own cigarettes and smoking daily.

John smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day. In his late 20s, John promised his father that he would quit smoking. John tried different strategies to end his nicotine addiction, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and going cold turkey. He also tried nicotine patches. Nothing John tried worked for him. John could never go a full day without smoking a cigarette.

After his father died, John was even more motivated to quit, but he still struggled. Then he found a doctor who had quit smoking. She understood nicotine addiction and the difficulty of quitting. She prescribed two quit-smoking medicines, including a nicotine oral inhaler, and recommended that John get counseling to help him through the process. She also suggested that he set a quit date. At age 38, after more than 20 years of smoking, John fulfilled his promise to his father and smoked his last cigarette on his quit date, May 5th.

Quitting smoking has given John an immense feeling of freedom. His advice to others is simple: “If I can quit smoking, you can too. You just need to find the approach that works for you.”


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