WASHINGTON, March 31 An unprecedented new public health campaign created by an alliance of national organizations and state health agencies was launched today in Washington, DC. The program, called EX(R), will change the way smokers think about the difficult process of quitting, and guide them to valuable free resources to build a successful quit attempt. Not since the Fairness Doctrine was applied to tobacco in 1968-1970 have so many public health organizations aligned to get a smoking cessation message to the public at large.
This new public education effort will encourage smokers to approach quitting smoking as "re-learning life without cigarettes." EX provides smokers with information that can help them prepare for a quit attempt by 1) "Re-learning" their thinking on the behavioral aspects of smoking and how different smoking triggers can be overcome with practice and preparation; 2) "Re-learning" their knowledge of addiction and how medications can increase their chances for quitting success; and 3) "Re-learning" their ideas of how support from friends and family members can play a critical role in quitting.
EX will educate smokers through advertisements on television, radio and online and via out-of-home promotions. The program also offers smokers a new Web site, www.BecomeAnEX.org, which features action-oriented tools and information to help smokers prepare for quitting by developing a personalized plan, as well as a virtual community, where smokers can share stories and best practices about their quit attempt.
Most smokers in America - 70 percent - want to quit, but in 2000, only about five percent were successful in quitting long-term. Quitting smoking is ultimately one of the single most important lifestyle changes one can make to improve and extend their lives. Tobacco-related death is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.; smokers therefore need to be armed with all the available information to make the best, most informed choices about the smoking cessation medications and resources available to them.
In 2006-2007, The American Legacy Foundation(R), the national public health foundation best known for its truth(R) youth-smoking prevention campaign pilot tested EX in four markets throughout the country, Buffalo, NY; San Antonio, TX; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Baltimore, Md. As a result of the successful pilot program, Legacy has brought together several national organizations and 14 states to form the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (NATC) and launch EX nationally. The NATC is a growing group of states, non-profit organizations, foundations and corporations, all dedicated to helping people quit smoking.
Founding members of the NATC include:
-- The American Cancer Society
-- The American Heart Association
-- National Cancer Institute
-- The American Legacy Foundation
-- The Mayo Clinic
-- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
-- The Association of State and Health Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
-- Arkansas Department of Health
-- Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco Education and Prevention
-- Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
-- The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
-- Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health Tobacco Control Program
-- Missouri Foundation for Health
-- New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
-- New York Department of Health
-- North Carolina Division of Public Health
-- North Dakota Department of Health
-- Division of Tobacco Prevention & Control
-- Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust
-- Center for Health Promotions
-- Oregon Public Health Division