New Smoking Cessation Campaign in St. Louis Offers Support for the “Quitter in You”

(August 6, 2013)

ST. LOUIS – The American Lung Association in Missouri and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri are supporting smokers in St. Louis in their efforts to quit for good through the “Quitter in You” smoking cessation campaign.  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield awarded the American Lung Association in Missouri $82,000 as part of a total $1.5 million donation to the American Lung Association by Anthem’s parent company in support of the program.

The campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good. A survey from the American Lung Association 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.

“Research shows that most people aren’t successful the first time they try to quit smoking,” said Plesetta Clayton, Vice President of Health Promotions for the American Lung Association, Plains-Gulf Region. “Each time you try, you learn a little more about the quitter in you. With each attempt, 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.”

“Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful things a person can do for his or her health, but it’s not easy,” said Wayne Meyer, M.D., medical director at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri.  “Studies show that it takes several attempts before a smoker quits for good, so it’s important not to give up.  The “Quitter in You” initiative helps educate and empower people trying to quit smoking, bringing them one step closer to success.”

Approximately 1,209,500 of people in Missouri smoke according to 2011 data, which is 43.1 percent of the state population. A survey from the American Lung Association found that most smokers are not successful the first time they try to quit, but with each quit 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 American Lung Association in St. Louis will be offering several smoking cessation clinics in the next few months.

The “Quitter in You” campaign features a web site at www.quitterinyou.org, radio and Out-of-Home 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 campaign is focused in 14 target markets, including St. Louis, Missouri.

The “Quitter in You” campaign is also reaching Spanish-speaking communities with a Spanish-language web site (www.elganadorenti.org), radio public service announcements, Freedom From Smoking® cessation resources, as well as counseling and one-on-one support from Spanish-speaking registered nurses, respiratory therapists and trained smoking cessation counselors through the Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA).

The “Quitter in You” campaign is made possible through funding from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Helping more Americans quit smoking remains a top public health priority for the American Lung Association. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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.

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About the American Lung Association in Missouri
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org


About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at  www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.