CDC Kicks Off $54M Anti-Smoking Campaign

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The Centers for Disease Control is launching its largest anti-smoking campaign Monday.

The effort includes graphic ads on billboards, print, radio and television, showing people whose smoking resulted in heart surgery, lost limbs, paralysis, and other diseases.

The campaign, the CDC's first national advertising effort, will cost $54 million. The agency hopes the campaign will persuade up to 50,000 Americans to stop smoking.

The U.S. smoking rate has stayed steady at around 20 percent in recent years.

"This is incredibly important," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "It's not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives."

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