The American Lung Association and WellPoint Inc. are partnering to help smokers quit for good through the “Quitter in You” smoking cessation campaign.
WellPoint awarded the American Lung Association $1.5 million in support of the program. The campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good.
A survey from the American Lung Association found that six out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.
With each quit attempt, smokers become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time. The “Quitter in You” campaign aims to change the way people think about past quit attempts and motivate them to try again. A “quit attempt” is defined as not smoking for at least one day with the intent of not starting again.
The “Quitter in You” campaign features a web site called www.quitterinyou.org, radio and Out-of-Home public service announcements, and personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association's Freedom From SmokingLung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking Online and Freedom From Smoking in-person clinic.
The campaign is focused in 14 target markets where local American Lung Associations will be working with WellPoint’s local affiliate companies. The target markets are: Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ky.; Manchester, N.H.; Milwaukee.; New Haven, Conn.; New York City; Portland, Maine; Richmond, Va.; Sacramento, Calif.; and St. Louis.
The campaign also seeks to reach Spanish speaking communities with a Spanish-language web site (www.elganadorenti.org), radio public service announcements, Freedom From Smoking cessation resources, as well counseling and one-on-one support from Spanish-speaking registered nurses, respiratory therapists and trained smoking cessation counselors through the Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA).
“Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it’s not easy,” said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint’s executive vice president of clinical health policy and chief medical officer. “Studies show it typically takes several attempts before most smokers quit for good, so it’s important that a person not give up.”
Helping more Americans quit smoking remains a top public health priority for the American Lung Association.
According to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 43 million American adults are current smokers. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens.
Smoking costs the United States more than $193 billion each year, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.