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First Aid for Smokeout Quitters: Quit and Stay Quit Monday

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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NEW YORK, Nov. 17 This time, resolve to quit smoking -- and stay quit, one week at a time.

Now, for the thousands of Americans who plan to quit smoking on this Thursday's 34th annual Great American Smokeout, the Quit and Stay Quit Monday plan can help them stay quit for good! Each Monday following the national quit day, smokers and relapsers can check in with local and national quitlines, counselors, family and friends to strengthen their commitment to a smoke-free life.

"Quit and Stay Quit Monday helps you quit smoking by reinforcing your progress every Monday," says Sid Lerner, Founder-Chairman of the Healthy Monday Campaign. "No matter what day a smoker quits - Smokeout Day, New Years, or birthdays - they can stay motivated by recommitting to that resolution every Monday thereafter."

"Studies show a high relapse rate for most first-time quitters and it takes multiple attempts for most smokers to quit for good," says Frances Stillman, Co-Director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "The idea of using each Monday as the day for quitters to reaffirm their smoke cessation goal is a sensible way to stay on track."

It's simple math. "For most people who quit, it can take 7 to 10 tries," says Lerner. "If you try just once a year and fail, those 'tries' can add up to a decade before you finally quit. Reinforce that 'quit' every Monday, and chances are good you may succeed within a year. What if a quitter has a relapse? Just get back on the horse the following Monday!"

Donald Distasio, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society, Eastern Division says, "We hope many more smokers will use the Great American Smokeout as an important first step towards living a smoke-free life. Stay Quit Monday is a good tool for smokers to use in reinforcing their commitment to quitting. If you're looking to quit smoking, call your American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit ww.cancer.org. We can help."

Thousands of smoke cessation clinics and centers across the country will be using this Great American Smokeout to highlight their free cessation resources. And others, like Kentucky University, are using this year's Smokeout to kick off tobacco-free campus initiatives. These centers can use Monday reminders for ongoing support and motivation to encourage smoke cessation every week.

Smoking is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States and globally it's the number one cause of preventable death. Dean Michael Klag of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health called smoking a big part of a "chronic disease pandemic," adding, "If we sharply reduce tobacco use, it will have a tremendous impact on cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases and other tobacco-related diseases."

For more resources on quitting smoking and staying quit, visit www.HealthyMonday.org/quit-and-stay-quit-Monday. Healthy Monday is a project of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications.

SOURCE The Monday Campaigns
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