Just a mere fifty years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General released its first report on smoking and health. It’s sad to report that since then, there have been an estimated 20 million deaths in the United States, all from smoking and/or exposure to secondhand smoke. To put 20 million into perspective, there are only 2 states that have more than 20 million residents, and that would be California and Texas.
This addiction not only claimed 20 million lives, but it left husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends heartbroken and sometimes alone. To visually get their point across, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) launched an online memorial, this will commemorate the loss of the 20 million people, who have lost their lives to smoking related diseases.
The campaign began October 7th. People all across the country are taking to social media to share their testimony of people whom they lost and how it has affected their families. You can also be a part of this heartfelt memorial.
How do you get involved you asked? Start by sharing a memorial—a message and/or a photo—of someone you know who has lost their life to a smoking-related disease. By posting your memorial on social media with the hashtag #20million, your submission will become a part of CDC’s #20Million Memorial.
Below are examples you can use when drafting your own memorial(s).\
Spread the Word
If you don’t know anyone who has died from smoking, you can still get involved by promoting the #20Million Memorial campaign as well. Listed below are sample social media messages for you to post on your organization’s social media platforms or on your social media sites:
- Today marks the kickoff of CDC’s #20Million Memorial. Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, 20 million people have died from a smoking-related illness. Share a memorial of someone you lost with the hashtag #20million.
- Together with @CDCTobaccoFree, we honor the #20million we have lost due to smoking. Share a memorial post of someone you lost using the hashtag #20million.
- Join @CDCTobaccoFree to raise awareness about the #20million people who have died because of smoking. www.cdc.gov/tips
- Who in your life has been affected by a smoking-related illness? Share your story using the #20million hashtag. www.cdc.gov/tips
We hope that you will join us all in memorializing our loved ones, and potentially changing the lives of people who battle with tobacco use. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jackie Woodring at email@example.com.