New Smoking Cessation Campaign in Milwaukee Offers Support for the “Quitter in You”

American Lung Association in Wisconsin and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Partner to Help Smokers Quit

(August 14, 2013)

BROOKFIELD, WI – The American Lung Association in Wisconsin and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) are supporting smokers in Milwaukee, Wisc. in their efforts to quit for good through the “Quitter in You” smoking cessation campaign.  Anthem awarded the American Lung Association in Wisconsin $74,000 as part of a total $1.5 million donation to the American Lung Association by its 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.

“While remarkable progress has been made in Wisconsin to reduce smoking, one out of five citizens still struggle with tobacco addiction,” said Sue Swan, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.  “Many of these people have tried to quit several times and have given up, thinking it’s impossible.  The ‘Quitter in You’ is directed to those individuals.  Our message is, if you’ve tried and failed, try again.  The Lung Association has the resources to help make the next attempt your success story.”  

“A lot of people don’t realize that it’s perfectly normal for someone to take several attempts before they finally quit smoking,” said Dr. Michael Jaeger, managing medical director of Anthem in Wisconsin and a chair of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin board. “Our message is keep going – keep trying – and the American Lung Association can help you get there.”

Nearly 1.2 million people in Wisconsin smoke, which is 21 percent of the state population, according to 2011 data.  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.

Keran Farrell is a former smoker who successfully quit using the Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® program.  He has since become a program facilitator.  Speaking of his experience, Farrell said, “Once I got through those first few days, and the nicotine was out of my system, I began to realize that my life could really be smokefree.  My breathing improved, my sense of smell improved, my sense of taste improved, and I just plain ol' began to feel better.  I slept better, too!  I did it.  I quit smoking thanks to the Lung Association, and I've never looked back.”

For information about smoking cessation programs offered in the Milwaukee area, or to speak with a cessation counselor directly, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (586-4872).

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 Milwaukee, Wis.

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 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’s parent company. 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.

About the American Lung Association in Wisconsin  
Our mission is 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.LungWI.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. 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 and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin 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.

Contact:

 American Lung Association in WI
 Dona Wininsky
 262-703-4840
 Dona.Wininsky@lungwi.org
 Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
 Scott Larrivee
 262-523-4746
 Scott.larrivee@anthem.com