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Lung Association Partners with Local Community Organizations in Wisconsin to Help Smokers Quit for Good

New initiative supported by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation offers proven-effective tobacco cessation services to help smokers in Wisconsin quit

(April 27, 2016) - Brookfield, WI

With support from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin is partnering with local community organizations in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha Counties, to help smokers quit for good by providing better access to proven-effective tobacco cessation services such as Freedom From Smoking®. These efforts will focus on populations at greater risk for tobacco-related disease due to smoking ratings and lack of access to affordable quit smoking resources.

“Access to free or low-cost quit smoking counseling and support is essential to helping individuals overcome smoking addiction, and through this collaboration we are doing just that,” said Michelle Mercure, Mission Director, American Lung Association in Wisconsin.

“Connecting with local communities to let Wisconsinites know these resources are available to them is key to helping Americans quit smoking, both improving their lung health and preventing tobacco-related illnesses. We are proud to partner with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and local organizations who serve as trusted resources in communities across Wisconsin.”

In partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, the American Lung Association in Wisconsin is working with local organizations such as the City of Milwaukee Housing Authority; Apartment Associations within Southeastern Wisconsin; Building Owners and Managers Association; Wisconsin Poverty Network; African American Tobacco Free Network; and many others to help the approximately 200,000 residents of these Wisconsin counties who are current smokers quit.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, but we know that quitting can be difficult,” said Dr. Michael Jaeger, senior clinical officer for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “We look forward to working with the American Lung Association to help those in our local communities at most risk, quit smoking, improve their lung health, and prevent tobacco-related illnesses by bringing support and resources.”

Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Smoking can cause or worsen numerous diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and more.

The American Lung Association will work with community partners to bring proven effective tobacco cessation programs such as Freedom From Smoking® which has helped over one million smokers quit. The Lung Association’s quit smoking program is offered in-person, online and by phone and includes content on building a quit plan, medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smokefree for good.

To learn more about how to quit smoking, call the Lung Association’s toll-free Lung Helpline 1-800-LUNGUSA, or learn more about Freedom From Smoking® at For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association in Wisconsin at [email protected] or 262-703-4840.

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®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.

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