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Petitioning Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Remove Tobacco Colon Cancer Advertisement

10,970
Supporters

The CDC has published an advertisement wherein a former smoker tells her plight of colon cancer (loose assumption that smoking was the cause of her cancer). In this ad she refers to having to wear a colostomy bag for a year which is "smelly" and because she fears leaks she doesn't leave her home. This may or may not deter people from smoking, but in the meantime, unnecessarily sheds negative light on people with ostomies.

Cancer is not the only reason one might need to wear an ostomy bag of some sort. And not everyone who develops colon cancer is or was a smoker. People with ostomies also are not necessarily "smelly" not do we hide in our homes to avoid leaks. In fact there are thousands and thousands of people living active lives with colostomies, urostomies and ileostomies every day. While your advertisement featuring Julia may have had good intentions, it sends the wrong message to the general public, at a time when those of us who have permanent ostomies are trying to educate others about this condition.

The negative stigma that is spread by this ad is itself a health threat.  Fear of being stigmatized, including the extreme negative body image that our society has placed on those with ostomies, sometimes leads people to forego these life-saving surgeries, or to postpone them for so long that their health is irretrievably damaged.

CDC, we ask that you remove this ad from your campaign immediately and that you make some other effort through the Department of Health and Human Resources and The United Ostomy Associations of America to correct some of the misleading information you have already spread through this advertisement.

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