American Cancer Society, Will Rogers Institute and Entertainment Industry Foundation Team Up to Offer Help to Smokers

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 General News
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LOS ANGELES, May 13 Eugene Levy, comedic actor and star ofdozens of blockbuster movies, appears in a new in-theater public serviceannouncement released by the American Cancer Society, Entertainment IndustryFoundation (EIF), and Will Rogers Institute that offers help to people whowant to quit smoking. The goal is to reach millions of moviegoers across thecountry with this 30-second spot. Leading networks, Screenvision and NationalCineMedia, are running the PSA. Together, these networks reach thousands ofmovie screens and will reach millions of people across the country.

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"I was delighted when the Entertainment Industry Foundation invited me toparticipate in the PSA with its partners, the American Cancer Society and WillRogers Institute," says Levy, EIF ambassador for the campaign. "Hopefully thishealth message motivates smokers who struggle to quit to seek help and becomeformer smokers."

Directed by acclaimed film director Paul Flaherty, Levy uses his trademarkhumor to show that while it is not easy to quit smoking on your own, help isavailable. "All it takes is a little movie magic to make a cigarettedisappear," says Levy. On screen, the actor tries to make a cigarette vanishwith "slick special effects." He concludes that there is nothing "magicalabout quitting smoking," and urges smokers to seek help by calling theAmerican Cancer Society Quitline(r) toll-free at 1-800-ACS-2345.

Callers to the Quitline(r) are connected to trained counselors who offertobacco cessation telephone counseling, self-help materials and communityreferrals. With guidance from a counselor, smokers can learn how to preparefor their quit attempt, develop strategies to help with cravings, and preventrelapse once they have quit. This service is clinically proven to double asmoker's chances of quitting and staying quit.

"The American Cancer Society works to provide the resources for smokers toquit, and we hope that this public service announcement will encourage smokersto call our free Quitline for help, anytime day or night," said John R.Seffrin, PhD, national chief executive officer, American Cancer Society."People who quit smoking, regardless of age, live longer than people whocontinue to smoke, and quitting lowers the risk for certain types of cancerand other major diseases, including heart attack and stroke."

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is associated withincreased risk of at least 15 different types of cancer. In the United Statesalone, tobacco use is responsible for 438,000 premature deaths each year.Smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percentof lung cancer deaths.

"The Will Rogers Institute is proud to team up with the American CancerSociety and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to provide this importantand entertaining PSA," said Todd R. Vradenburg, Executive Director of the WillRogers Institute. "By playing this PSA in theaters, we will reach a countlessnumber of smokers and offer them real solutions to quitting."

"With Eugene's comedic genius and Paul's creative touch, this publicservice announcement should capture the attention of moviegoers and hopefullymotivate smokers to call the American Cancer Society's national Quitline forhelp," said Entertainment Industry Foundation President and CEO Lisa Paulsen."We are extremely grateful to the Will Rogers Institute for helping us bringthis life-saving message to the big screen."

About The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a majorhealth problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancerthrough research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and withnational headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions andlocal offices in 3,400 communities,

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