Marlene shares her story in one of CDC’s 2015 “Tips from Former Smokers” ads. Click the photo to view her video ad.

Marlene, 68, started smoking as a teenager and began losing her vision to macular degeneration at age 56. Though her condition cannot be cured, she slows it with drug treatment each month that must be injected through a needle into her eyes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 “Tips from Former Smokers” ad campaign launched today, which includes stories like Marlene’s, to inspire more Americans to quit smoking for good.

The campaign, now in its fourth year, profiles people living with serious long-term health effects resulting from smoking and/or secondhand smoke exposure. The ads will run for 20 weeks on television, radio, billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers.

This year’s ads highlight new research on links between smoking and chronic illnesses, including vision loss and colorectal cancer. The ads include e-cigarettes for the first time, stressing the importance of quitting cigarettes completely rather than just cutting down.

“Three out of four people who use e-cigarettes are still smoking. We felt like we had to say something in the face of heavy marketing,” said Tim McAfee, senior medical officer in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, in a media briefing last week. “Regardless of how it plays out, CDC’s role is to help minimize harm.”

Though tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. and has a devastating effect on our nation’s economy, the Tips campaign has helped change smoking habits. According to the CDC, since 2012 the ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free quitline number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. In 2014 when the “Tips” ads were on the air, about 80 percent more people called the quitline.

“Bottom line is that these ads will save lives, and they’ll save money,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in the media briefing. While the tobacco industry’s marketing budget outspends CDC’s by 100 to 1, Frieden said that the CDC has something more valuable on its side: truth.

For help quitting smoking, the “Tips” ads encourage smokers to call the quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. You can visit the “Tips” campaign online to find helpful resources and watch the ads.