Legacy and the Ad Council Team Up to Help Smokers 'Re-Learn Life Without Cigarettes'

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 General News
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National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation PSA's Provide Resources for Smokers

ALBANY, N.Y., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the

United States and a staggering six million people worldwide will lose their lives to tobacco next year. Today, Legacy(SM) and the Ad Council have partnered to help smokers "re-learn" life without cigarettes with EX®, a national quit smoking campaign sponsored by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (NATC), in order to help the 43 million Americans who smoke to finally quit. The campaign is being unveiled this morning in conjunction with New York State's recently renewed membership to the NATC.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/adcouncil/42522/

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100224/MM57420 )

"We are delighted to be one of a number of organizations in several states and at the national level in this timely effort to focus on reducing smoking rates in New York and across the country," said Commissioner Richard F. Daines.

The partnership will begin airing this month and uses a number of approaches to engage smokers through different mediums and venues including television and radio spots, poster placement, giveaways and social media.

"This year, there have been several historic changes in public policy related to tobacco prevention and cessation. From the passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act increasing the Federal excise tax on tobacco to the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act securing authority for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco. The movement to reduce the number of smokers in America is evolving," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. "What has yet to change are the financial resources available to help smokers quit, so we have had to become even more creative with our public education strategy and are confident that our PSA partnership with the Ad Council will effectively supplement our traditional paid media efforts in this campaign."

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult and important lifestyle changes a person can make. Seventy percent of smokers in America want to quit, but in 2000, only about five percent of smokers were successful in quitting long-term. Therefore, it is essential that smokers have access to all the necessary tools and resources to not only help them take the steps towards quitting, but to ultimately help them quit for good.

"EX is a wonderful campaign that provides smokers with the motivation, resources and peer-to-peer support that will give them the best chance for success in quitting," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "We are proud to join Legacy, and leverage our pro bono resources, to help further the reach and impact of this life-saving effort."  

With the help of clinical partner Mayo Clinic, EX provides evidence-based tools to help smokers quit, including 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 uses an innovative Web site (www.BecomeAnEX.org) as a convening point for smokers who want to quit and collaborate on their successes and challenges in the difficult quit process. The new public service elements from Legacy and the Ad Council partnership will enhance and supplement the current campaign which includes an iPhone application that helps smokers quit on the go and will be available through iTunes this March.  The public service ads were created by GSD&M Idea City and will run and air in donated advertising time and space.

"This latest round of EX creative work gets to the heart of helping people save their own lives," said Duff Stewart, president and CEO of GSD&M Idea City. "Our partnership with Legacy is a great example of what we like to do best -- make a difference."


Friends and Forklift TV PSA Spots

The goal of these spots is to make smokers think about the triggers that make them want to smoke. The PSA's tell smokers that re-learning those behaviors without cigarettes will make it easier to quit. In the spots, the characters struggle to re-learn the triggers without cigarettes and are ultimately successful. The spots empathize with smokers and give them a sense of hope that, while the quitting process is never easy, it's much more manageable with the right approach.

Man on the Street Radio PSA Spots

The spot sends a regular guy out to talk to real smokers about what makes them smoke. Based on the unscripted insights, the man on the street helps the smokers discover what it will take to re-learn life without cigarettes.


To make bar and restaurant smokers aware of their habits, the campaign is filling bathroom posters with bad pick-up lines, highlighting an important insight: Bad pick-up lines can make you want to smoke. In gyms, the partnership reaches smokers in a different way, by using type to convey the emotion of triggers. For example, one poster is filled with the words "tick, tock," ultimately driving smokers to BecomeAnEX.org to re-learn boredom without cigarettes.

Air Fresheners

EX-branded car air fresheners will help giver smokers looking to quit a fresh start when they re-learn driving without cigarettes.

In 2006-07, Legacy, the national public health foundation best known for its truth® youth-smoking prevention campaign pilot tested EX in four markets throughout the country: Buffalo, N.Y.; San Antonio, Texas; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Baltimore, Md. A new study released in the September 2009 issue of Social Marketing Quarterly found that EX was a trusted and empathetic brand and that smokers who were thinking more about quitting or were more motivated to quit were significantly more receptive to the EX brand than those who had not yet reached that point in their quit process. As a result of the successful pilot program, in 2007, Legacy brought together several national organizations and several states to form the NATC and launch EX nationally. The NATC is a 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
  • C-Change
  • Legacy
  • Mayo Clinic
  • The Rapides Foundation
  • 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
  • Connecticut Department of Public Health
  • D.C. Tobacco Free Families, a partnership of D.C. Department of Health, American Lung Association of D.C., and the American Cancer Society
  • Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
  • Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program
  • 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 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 Department of Human Services Tobacco Prevention and Education Program
  • Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Vermont Department of Health
  • Washington State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
  • Wyoming Department of Health


EX® is a collaborative public health campaign presented by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation, a partnership of the nation's leading public health organizations and states. The campaign helps smokers prepare to quit and guides them to useful resources that foster successful quit attempts including the EX plan, a free personalized quit plan available on the campaign's Web site www.BecomeAnEX.org. EX is the culmination of several years of research and testing, combining an understanding of the power of nicotine addiction with messages that resonate with and motivate smokers toward behavior change. The EX approach is peer to peer and focuses on "re-learning life without cigarettes" by encouraging smokers to think differently about the process of quitting. The campaign, which began airing nationwide in March 2008, includes television, radio, online and out-of-home advertising. The EX Web site helps smokers create their own individual plan to quit and connects them to a virtual community of other smokers where they can share stories and strategies about quitting. Founding members of the NATC include numerous states and the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the American Legacy Foundation, C-Change, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and clinical partner, the Mayo Clinic.

The Advertising Council

The Ad Council (www.AdCouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote national public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and federal government agencies. The Ad Council's campaigns focus on improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

SOURCE The Ad Council


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