New Smoking Cessation Campaign Supports the "Quitter in You"

(June 24, 2013)

It’s OK to be a quitter, if what you’re quitting is smoking! The American Lung Association and WellPoint Inc. are supporting smokers’ efforts to quit for good through the “Quitter in You” campaign.  WellPoint awarded the American Lung Association $1.5 million in support of the program.  The campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by recognizing that past attempts to quit are not failures, but normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good.

In fact, a Lung Association survey found that six out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good. Although most smokers are not successful the first time they try to quit, with each attempt they become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time. The “Quitter in You” campaign aims to change the way people think about past quit attempts and motivate them to try again. A quit attempt is defined as not smoking for at least one day with the intent of not starting again.

The “Quitter in You” campaign combines a web site, a variety of public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking® Online and Freedom From Smoking® in-person clinic. The web site, campaign materials and smoking cessations resources are also available in Spanish.

“The American Lung Association is here to provide expert support and proven resources that have helped more than one million people quit smoking for good,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

The campaign is focused in 14 target markets where local Lung Associations will work with WellPoint’s local affiliated health plans. The target markets are: Atlanta, Ga.; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Louisville, Ky.; Manchester, N.H.; Milwaukee, Wis.; New Haven, Conn.; New York City; Portland, Maine; Richmond, Va.; Sacramento, Calif.; and St. Louis, Mo.

Helping more Americans quit smoking is a top public health priority for the American Lung Association. More than 43 million American adults are current smokers. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens. Smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion each year, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.

The “Quitter in You” campaign is made possible through funding from WellPoint Inc.