The Sideshow

Anti-smoking PSAs offer tips on life with a tracheotomy

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Last night, while watching an episode of A&E's Intervention, I saw a new public service announcement (PSA) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The PSA, "Tips From Former Smokers," featured a number of former smokers who had tracheotomies, an operation in which a surgical hole is created from the outside of a person's neck to access the trachea. Along with severely altering, or even removing, a person's voice, the operation poses several long-term issues.

In the ad, the smokers gave examples of ways in which the tracheotomies interfere with normal daily actions.

"When you have a hole in your neck, don't face the shower head."

"Suction out your throat before you eat."

"Crouch, don't bend over. You don't want to lose the food in your stomach."

It turns out the CDC has released an entire series of the PSAs. You can watch more of them below. They are difficult to watch but powerful and moving. In related news, yesterday a federal appeals court in Kentucky upheld a law requiring cigarette companies to carry "graphic warning labels" on their packaging. The law is being challenged by two tobacco companies.

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