POSTED: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 5:38pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 6:40pm
EL PASO — The U.S. Government is pushing for shock value with its new anti-smoking campaign.
The Center for Disease Control is hoping the spots, which begin Monday, persuade as many as 50,000 Americans to stop smoking through billboards, print, radio and TV ads that show graphic pictures and testimonials from smokers..
It's a $54 million campaign and its the CDC's first national advertising push against smoking. A local group in El Paso, Paso Del Norte Health Foundation, knows all about anti-smoking campaigns. They aired their own anti-smoking TV commercial as part of their SET THE DATE campaign.
"We've used the same approach here in El Paso and our cessation you know getting people to quit, but we used a little different twist but we've used testimonials from people who have quit," said Jon Law, a program officer from Paso Del Norte.
The CDC's images are graphic but will they be effective?
"There's evidence that there's some success to using graphic images when they're directed towards current smokers. It's not as successful when preventing new smokers," said Law.
Not everyone agrees it will shock the intended audience.
"Maybe not really to those who are already smoking but it will definitely prevent the new smokers from trying out a new cigarette," said Alexis Becerra.
"I used to be a smoker and i would see a lot of pictures like this and u become conscious and it's like yeah that could happen to me but then sometimes you know you try and quite and then it's like ok I'll have one,"said Sergio Cueto.
Even if the ads don't convince people to quit they might scare them from picking up the cigarette habit.
Paso Del Norte Health Foundation has a website  and toll free number where smokers who want to quit and need some guidance can visit.
Toll Free Number (915) 534-QUIT.