|New Campaign, Featuring Smokers’ Personal Stories,
Encourages Tobacco Users to “Be a Quitter”
Smokers and tobacco users trying to quit will soon have a potent
ally — fellow smokers. The “Quit Now” Challenge a new initiative
featuring the inspirational stories of people who want to quit
smoking, was announced today by The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both
agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Now through October 27, 2006, 1-800-QUIT-NOW will accept submissions
from cigarette smokers and other tobacco users explaining, in their
own words, why they want to “Quit Now!” Interested participants
can visit 1800quitnow.org for specific instructions on how to submit
video entries. Successful quitters whose stories are chosen will
be announced on February 1, 2007.
The “Quit Now” Challenge, part of the “Be A Quitter” campaign,
enhances NCI and CDC’s ongoing National Network of Tobacco Cessation
Quitlines initiative. Participants — chosen among men and women
between 18 and 29 years old — will be available for local television,
radio, and newspaper interviews. These participants also will be
encouraged to help others quit by posting daily diaries and sharing
their personal stories of QUIT-NOW experiences on the official
1-800-QUIT-NOW Web site, 1800quitnow.org. Callers to 1-800-QUIT-NOW,
which is a single point of access to state-based quitlines, will
continue to receive practical, effective help quitting smoking,
information materials, and referrals to other resources.
“Since 1-800-QUIT-NOW was launched in 2004, it has remained an
important resource for the 45 million Americans who smoke, and
for other tobacco users, to help them end their addiction,” said
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. “Such a program is vital to help improve
the public health of this country, as young people continue to
light up, and others continue to die from tobacco-related disease.”
“NIH is committed to improving the health of all Americans and
reducing the burden of illness,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni,
M.D. “Encouraging people to quit smoking, and supporting them in
their effort to do so, is an important step in preventing the myriad
of diseases caused by smoking and tobacco use.”
“As a research institution, NCI is coordinating a wide-ranging
program to study the mechanisms and molecular pathways of lung
cancer — and the relationship of these pathways to nicotine and known
carcinogens present in tobacco,” said NCI Director John E. Niederhuber,
M.D. “Knowing, as we do, that tobacco use accounts for 30 percent
of all cancer deaths, helping people quit is key to reducing the
burden of this disease.”
Participants who quit smoking by The Challenge’s end will be selected
to share their success stories. The NCI and CDC hope that these
stories will help further increase quit rates in the United States.
The North American Quitline Consortium, corporate partners, and
local organizations in communities across the country are key collaborators
in 1-800-QUIT-NOW, providing their expertise to help raise awareness
about this toll-free access number.
In addition to The “Quit Now” Challenge, television and radio
public service announcements, an online educational video, print
materials, banner ads, and a Web site (1800quitnow.org) are part
of the tobacco cessation campaign effort.
“Quitting tobacco is not something anyone should have to face
alone,” said Corinne Husten, M.D., M.P.H., acting director of CDC’s
Office on Smoking and Health. “It’s like a journey, filled with
ups and downs. But with the proper coaching and support, people
For additional information about tobacco cessation, please go
to http://smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For more information
about tobacco, please go to the National Cancer Institute’s “Tobacco
and Cancer” home page at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tobacco Information
and Prevention Source (TIPS) home page at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/.
For information about cancer, please visit the National Cancer
Institute Web site at http://www.cancer.gov, or call NCI's Cancer
Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.