New Campaign Encourages Tobacco Users to "Be A Quitter"
Smokers and tobacco users trying to quit will soon have a potent ally - fellow smokers. The "Quit Now" Challenge, a new initiative featuring the inspirational stories of people who want to quit smoking, was announced last week by NCI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Now through October 27, 1-800-QUIT-NOW will accept submissions from cigarette smokers and other tobacco users explaining, in their own words, why they want to "Quit Now!" Interested participants can visit www.1800quitnow.org for specific instructions on how to submit video entries. Successful quitters whose stories are chosen will be announced on February 1, 2007. NCI and CDC hope that these stories will help further increase quit rates in the United States.
"Knowing, as we do, that tobacco use accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths, helping people quit is key to reducing the burden of this disease," said NCI Director Dr. John E. Niederhuber.
"Encouraging people to quit smoking, and supporting them in their effort to do so, is an important step in preventing the myriad of diseases caused by smoking and tobacco use," agreed NIH Director Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni.
The "Quit Now" Challenge, part of the "Be A Quitter" campaign, enhances NCI and CDC's ongoing National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines initiative. Participants - chosen among men and women between 18 and 29 years old - will be available for television, radio, and newspaper interviews. These participants also will be encouraged to help others quit by posting daily diary entries and sharing their personal stories of Quit Now experiences on the official 1-800-QUIT-NOW Web site, www.1800quitnow.org.
The North American Quitline Consortium, corporate partners, and local organizations in communities across the country are key collaborators in 1-800-QUIT-NOW, providing their expertise to help raise awareness about this toll-free access number. Callers to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which is a single point of access to state-based quitlines, will continue to receive practical, effective help quitting smoking, informational materials, and referrals to other resources.
"Since 1-800-QUIT-NOW was launched in 2004, it has remained an important resource for the 45 million Americans who smoke, and for other tobacco users, to help them end their addiction," said HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. "Such a program is vital to help improve the public health of this country, as young people continue to light up, and others continue to die from tobacco-related disease."
In addition to The "Quit Now" Challenge, television and radio public service announcements, an online educational video, print materials, banner ads, and a Web site (www.1800quitnow.org) are part of the tobacco cessation campaign effort.
"Quitting tobacco is not something anyone should have to face alone," said Dr. Corinne Husten, of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "It's like a journey, filled with ups and downs. But with the proper coaching and support, people can quit."