New Online Community, Quitter's Circle, Helps Smokers Trade Cigarettes for Real-Time Support | American Lung Association

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New Online Community, Quitter's Circle, Helps Smokers Trade Cigarettes for Real-Time Support

(June 23, 2015) - Chicago, IL

The American Lung Association and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) today announced the launch of Quitter's Circle, a mobile app and online community designed to help smokers face common obstacles associated with quitting through educational, social and financial support. Within a few clicks, smokers can start a quit team with friends and family, find resources to connect with a healthcare provider and crowdsource funds to support the cost of a quit attempt.

A recent survey explored barriers that prevent people from successfully quitting smoking and found that 85 percent of current smokers express worry about the health consequences of smoking, but only 36 percent of them have a plan in place to quit.1 A quit plan is often designed in consultation with a healthcare provider and clinician advice and support can double the odds of successfully quitting smoking.2

"Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the United States,3 yet we found that only half of smokers had spoken to a doctor about quitting,1" said Dr. Albert Rizzo, Senior Medical Advisor of the American Lung Association. "Quitter's Circle provides tips and information to help smokers reach their quit goal. Users can also access resources to connect with a healthcare provider, including a live conversation with a board-certified doctor online or on a mobile device."

In addition to healthcare provider guidance, another unmet need in quitting is social support. When quitting smoking, smokers are often advised to avoid people, places and activities that remind them of cigarettes.4 However, according to the survey, 80 percent of smokers who are trying to quit reported that support from others, including friends, family, significant others and coworkers, is very important to successfully quitting.1 Friends and family can offer motivation and support to help a smoker stay strong during their quit journey.

"One of the many features that makes this initiative different is that Quitter's Circle enables smokers to personalize a quit attempt with a team of supporters that might include friends, family and a healthcare provider," said Rory O'Connor, Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Pfizer Inc. "Supporters can join Quit Teams, so if you are supporting someone on their journey, you can track their progress, offer inspiration and even receive alerts when they need some support."

Additionally, smokers may need help when it comes to the financial impact of quitting.1 Through the mobile app, smokers can access a resource to start a Quit Fund, allowing their supporters to help with the cost of quitting smoking, including visits with a doctor, counseling and treatment options. If a smoker does not need financial support with the quitting process, a Quit Fund can be used to celebrate a quitting milestone, a critical motivator in staying quit.

If you or someone you know want to quit smoking, download the Quitter's Circle app, available on Android and Apple smartphones and the Apple Watch. For information and tips to help on the journey to quit, visit QuittersCircle.com or join the Quitter's Circle community at Facebook.com/QuittersCircle and @QuittersCircle on Twitter.

Sources:

1. TNS. Express Online Omnibus - Cigarette Smoking. Survey. 2 April 2015 - 6 April 2015. Data on file.
2. Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, Bailey WC, Benowitz NL, Curry SJ, Dorfman SF, Froelicher ES, Goldstein MG, Froelicher ES, Healton CG, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Clinical Practice Guidelines. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Quit Day: 5 Steps. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Smokefree.gov, 2015.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted using the online omnibus field services of TNS, a global research organization that is part of Kantar, an insight, information and consultancy group, between April 2 and April 6, 2015. It included 2,500 Americans, aged 18+ regardless of their smoking status. Of the 2,500 respondents, 19 percent identified themselves as current smokers, defined as those who smoke daily or occasionally, and six percent identified as currently trying to quit. Data for this survey were tested for statistical difference at a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of ±1.9 percent.

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