March 2008


Research Highlights
Other Cessation News



Research Highlights

Other Cessation News




Legacy's EX Campaign Incorporates Consumer Demand Strategies

The American Legacy Foundation, with the support of the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (NATC), launched the national EX campaign today. A campaign designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting, EX incorporates several Consumer Demand strategies designed to increase smokers' use of evidence-based cessation products and services.

While most smoking cessation campaigns focus on smokers in the "contemplation" or "action" stages of change, EX focuses on smokers in the "preparation" stage of change. In this stage, smokers know why they should quit, but they don't know how to quit and are in need of assistance. The campaign, which targets adults ages 25-49 who have tried to quit smoking in the last 12 months, helps smokers think about quitting in a new way and builds the necessary confidence to quit successfully.

The EX campaign incorporates three important Consumer Demand strategies, as outlined in NTCC's 6 Core Strategies for Increasing the Use of Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation Treatments Report:

  1. Viewing smokers as consumers and taking a fresh look at quitting from their perspective;
  2. Redesigning evidence-based products and services to better meet consumers' needs and wants; and
  3. Marketing and promoting cessation products and services in ways that reach smokers-especially underserved smokers-where they are.

Each year, more than 70 percent of smokers say that they want to quit, but only five percent are successful - a fact that shows many smokers do not know how to quit successfully. EX is unique from other cessation campaigns in that it views smokers as consumers, and takes a fresh look at cessation from the smoker's perspective. The EX messages speak to the smoker from the perspective of a former smoker who has gone through the process of quitting and understands the challenges involved.

These challenges include the common triggers that often prompt smokers to want a cigarette, such as having a cup of coffee or driving to work. The EX campaign includes a series of "re-learn" television ads, to target these triggers, that help smokers learn more about their smoking behaviors. The idea is that by doing this smokers can break down their quit attempts into manageable pieces and, as part of a comprehensive approach, successfully quit smoking.

A set of cessation tools also was designed for the EX campaign, in collaboration with tobacco treatment experts at the Mayo Clinic and with input from former and current smokers. An example of better meeting consumers' needs and wants by redesigning current evidence-based products and services, the tools provide smokers with a realistic approach to quitting that makes the most of existing evidence-based cessation methods.

Each of the EX cessation tools is designed to help smokers build their personalized quit plans that help them identify, avoid and overcome "triggers" - the times of day, situations and stresses that cause smokers to want a cigarette. As part of these tools, the following resources are provided:

  • Access to state quitlines using 1-800-QUIT-NOW, the national, toll-free quit-smoking help line;
  •, the campaign website that helps smokers select a quit-smoking date, create personalized quit plans, learn more about pharmacotherapy resources, find online support from other smokers who are working to become EX-smokers; and
  • The EX Quit Manual, a guide written by a former smoker that features a step-by-step approach to combining the tools that make it possible for a smoker to quit.

Finally, the EX campaign utilizes a variety of channels to reach smokers where they are. The campaign includes television, radio, and online advertising that drive smokers to, where they can find all the EX tools and other resources to help them quit.

The marketing strategy behind the promotion of the EX campaign also includes being present at the times and places where smokers are engaged in self-reflection and/or thinking about having a cigarette, especially during the early morning and late at night. The "re-learn" ads will run on a variety of major networks including ABC, CNN, TBS, ESPN, and Lifetime. The networks also will run PSA-style vignettes that feature network stars giving branded advice with facts and tips about preparing to quit smoking.

The radio strategy includes traditional commercials on targeted networks, as well as integrated promotions on top-rated talk programs. These will air heavily during commuting times, a common trigger for smoking. Online advertising includes brand-related search results and display ads on sites relevant to periods of self-reflection, such as and

In addition to these more traditional channels, the campaign includes ambient "out-of-home" placements. These include placements in a variety of less traditional, outdoor channels and settings. There will be ads in cinemas, on Captivate Network elevator screens in office buildings, and on coffee-cup sleeves. EX also has a lunch truck that will travel to metropolitan areas to distribute free coffee and EX quit kits.

EX also will be integrated with state and local cessation efforts. Through the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (NATC), EX will be able to reach a greater number of smokers. NATC is a new collaboration of leading public health organizations, state health departments and state-based foundations. State NATC members can utilize EX-branded advertising and educational materials to supplement the national campaign. These materials can be tagged with local information, such as health department contact information, to promote local quit-smoking resources.

For more information about EX, visit or

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Cheryl Healton, Dr.P.H., President and Chief Executive Officer, American Legacy Foundation

Following the creation of the American Legacy Foundation in 1999, Dr. Cheryl Healton joined the staff as the first president and chief executive officer of this groundbreaking public health nonprofit, created by the historic Master Settlement Agreement. During her tenure with the foundation, she has guided the highly acclaimed, national youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, truth®, that has been credited in part with reducing youth smoking prevalence to its current 28-year low.

Active in grant support, she has been the principal investigator/program director for more than two-dozen grants and has published numerous articles on public health topics. Dr. Healton is currently writing a book on the topic of women and smoking, with common sense strategies to increase successful quit attempts.

Dr. Healton holds a doctorate from Columbia University's School of Public Health and a master's degree in Public Administration at New York University for health policy and planning. She joined Legacy from Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health in New York, where she served as Head of the Division of Socio-medical Sciences and Associate Dean for Program Development.

Since joining the foundation, she has continued her relationship with Columbia as a Professor of Clinical Public Health and as an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Georgetown University.

Q1: Today, Legacy launched the EX campaign. What was the most surprising thing that you learned from the EX pilot testing?

EX® is designed to help smokers "re-learn" their lives without cigarettes. The campaign is based both on extensive formative research and a four-city pilot evaluation. In the pilots we learned that smokers were highly receptive to the EX advertising messages.

While it is important to note that smokers found the EX messages to be trust-worthy and effective in helping them to think about quitting in a new way, what is most surprising to me is how well the ads resonated with smokers. In the Grand Rapids pilot, nearly three-quarters (74%) of all adults reported awareness of EX after having heard one of the ads briefly described. This was substantially higher than the aided awareness of other cessation campaigns - notably Philip Morris' "Quit Assist," (36%) and Pfizer's "My Time to Quit" (34%) - running at the same time at comparable media levels. I think it means that EX strikes a chord with smokers!

Q2: One of the areas NTCC is focused on for 2008 is health literacy. Can you talk a little about the importance of health literacy in tobacco cessation?

About 90 million American adults, nearly half the U.S. adult population, has difficulty understanding and acting upon health information, according to the Institute of Medicine. We know quitting smoking is difficult for almost everyone, but imagine trying to understand how to overcome the powerful addiction of nicotine and the behavioral smoking triggers when faced with a marketplace of treatments ranging from F.D.A.-approved medications to the empty promises of infomercial or Internet quick fixes.

Thanks in part to sophisticated target marketing, it is not by chance that tobacco use prevalence rates are highest among low socioeconomic and less educated individuals. So, it is our charge as public health leaders to design messages, educational materials, and treatments that inspire smokers to quit, provide them with clear, easy-to-understand information, and reach them when and where they benefit most. To be successful we must take on the issue of health literacy with as much vigor as we take on tobacco use.

Q3: Legacy and NTCC have been collaborating with the X Prize Foundation to develop a potential tobacco cessation X Prize. What does the X Prize Foundation bring to tobacco control?

We are still in the exploration phase of this initiative, but partnering with the X Prize Foundation will bring us tremendous opportunity. The goal is to establish a cancer prevention prize focused on tobacco control. The X Prize Foundation will put forth a challenge to the nation and hopefully inspire individuals and organizations - not only in public health, but in other sectors as well - to consider how to make a monumental stride to reduce the toll of tobacco. The result of an X Prize challenge, should it come to fruition, will be increased interest in the issue, the development of fresh approaches to combat smoking, and the chance to save millions of lives.

Q4: The tobacco industry has been developing new products, such as flavored products and novel smokeless products, to encourage and sustain addiction. What has been the impact of this on tobacco control?

It is important to remember that the interests of public health do not fit into the tobacco companies' corporate strategy to stay in business. Historically, tobacco companies have identified a particular market segment and developed a marketing strategy and product to appeal to that market. This continues today backed by millions of dollars invested in new brands and products.

This forces the tobacco control community to stay on its toes even with a fraction of the tobacco industry's resources. The good news is that as a community we are vigilant and nimble. For example, the introduction of candy-flavored cigarettes such as those produced by R.J. Reynolds and Brown and Williamson are now off the market thanks to the united and unrelenting voice of those of us in public health and the actions of the state attorneys general. We have a strong history of not backing down - including Uptown cigarettes and the KOOL Mix promotion - that must continue in the interest of saving lives.

Q5: There has been a growing movement to eliminate smoking in movies because research shows it has an impact on youth smoking. What is Legacy's position on this issue?

Smoking in films has a tremendous impact on youth. More than one-third of youth smoking can be traced to exposure to smoking in films. That's why we are committed to working with our public health partners to bring attention to the issue.

For example, we have joined the call to urge Hollywood to insert antismoking public service announcements before films that contain smoking when they are released on DVDs. In fact, today you will find the foundation's award-winning truth® ads included on several DVD releases distributed by The Weinstein Company and Disney.

While the movie industry has begun to take steps in the right direction, experts and policy makers are in agreement that more can be done. If the movie industry would agree to institute a policy that gives every movie that includes smoking an R-Rating, we are confident that we can reduce the 400,000 new young smokers attracted by smoking on the big screen.

Q6: What, in your opinion, has been the most important development in tobacco control in the past year?

The Institute of Medicine's 2007 report, Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation, was certainly a major development. The report, which was funded by Legacy, presents a comprehensive outline for addressing tobacco use and urges policy makers to implement strategies that effectively reduce the nation's number-one cause of preventable death.

In addition to calling attention to the toll tobacco takes on our nation, the report makes 42 specific recommendations that the IOM has presented to Congress. Ranging from strengthening traditional tobacco control measures to changing the regulatory landscape, these recommendations offer all of us important guidelines to focus our strategy and our work in the decades to come.

Q7: How did you get involved in tobacco control?

I've worked in pubic health for many years serving on an array of national, state, and local committees and task forces for public health and policy issues including HIV/AIDS, violence, and alcoholism. My early work on tobacco included a grant project to study the effects of marketing and counter-marketing on youth tobacco use and evaluation of intervention programs for New York State's youth tobacco prevention program. I've worked to build partnerships linking public health researchers with state tobacco-health policy makers and at Columbia University to bring an interdisciplinary approach to tobacco control linking academic researchers to public health practitioners. As a former smoker I have a first-hand understanding of tobacco addiction. I also lost my own mother and several close family members to tobacco-related disease - which makes it a personal fight.

Q8: What has been the most challenging aspect of your work in tobacco control?

Keeping tobacco control on the national agenda is one of the greatest challenges. It is a critical aspect of our work, however, because the tobacco industry spends more than $28,800 a minute on product marketing.

I join all of my colleagues in the never-ending effort to find new, creative, and impactful ways to remind Americans, through counter-marketing, earned media, and policy-focused and community initiatives, that tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable death in this country. We can never lose sight of that.

Q9: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work in tobacco control?

It is difficult to choose the MOST rewarding aspect of my work because there are many. One that gives me tremendous satisfaction is that through Legacy we have been able draw attention to and increase support for tobacco control efforts that benefit those disproportionately affected by tobacco or who have less access to healthcare. It is no secret that I believe that tobacco use is a social justice issue.

Establishing a process to understand the challenges and needs of specific communities and making them a priority in the foundation's programming -whether through multi-cultural media approaches or through grantmaking to reduce disparities - has inspired me. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many dedicated community-based researchers, practitioners, and advocates as we try to untangle individuals and families from lure of tobacco marketing and the web of addiction. In the end, I know that with sustained support and much work we will be successful in changing social norms and mindsets around smoking especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco.

Q10: What has been the biggest accomplishment of Legacy since its inception?

There is a great deal to be proud of in our first eight years. For instance, I believe Legacy has had a wonderful impact through our innovative grant-making programs and our research and evaluation work.

Of course, the contribution that the foundation has made to reducing youth smoking through our truth® campaign is a major source of pride for all of us at Legacy. As you may know, the campaign has been credited with a 22 percent of the total decline in youth smoking in 2002 and 300,000 fewer youth smokers.

The campaign continues to succeed despite a decline in funds supporting it. We now spend less in one year on truth® than the tobacco industry spends in one day marketing its products. As the campaign evolves, we have stayed on the cutting edge, producing campaigns that both save lives and win awards. We couldn't be happier about that.

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Research Highlights

University of Minnesota Study Shows State Smoking Ban Reduces Risk

Proponents of the statewide smoking ban in Minnesota that went into effect in October argued for it in part because they said it would reduce health risks for the people who are the most exposed to second-hand smoke -- the 176,000 bartenders, waiters and waitresses who work in the state's hospitality industry. Now, findings from a University of Minnesota study support it.

Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, who heads the University of Minnesota's tobacco research center, recruited 24 nonsmokers from around the state who worked at bars, restaurants and bowling alleys that permitted smoking. Before the ban went into effect, she tested their urine for nicotine and a carcinogen. Then she tested them again after the ban. The study will be submitted for publication in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

On average, the levels of nicotine and the carcinogen dropped by more than 80 percent, she found in results. "It may seem very obvious," she said. "But the implications are that [the ban] really works. It is protecting our workers from cancer-causing agents."

Research shows that nonsmoking hospitality employees have up to a 50 percent higher risk of lung cancer. Still, like their operators in the hospitality industry, employees were split over the ban before it was passed. This year, bills have been introduced at the Legislature to create exemptions for certain bars and clubs. But these research results show that loosening the ban "would put these employee's health in danger," said Kerri Gordon, public relations manager for ClearWay Minnesota, an advocacy group that provides research money and smoking cessation services in the state. ClearWay funded this research. Gordon said it provides "scientific proof that it's important to protect hospitality workers."

For more information, see web link:
Star Tribune, March 26, 2008


Indiana City Smoking Ban Helping Air Quality

Workers and customers in West Lafayette, IN, who frequent the city's bars and restaurants, are breathing cleaner air thanks to the city's smoking ban, according to a new study released by a state agency.

The study, conducted by Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, shows a 94 percent reduction in fine particulate in several of the city's restaurants and bars from before the smoking ban took effect to after the ban.

The fine particulate, which is emitted from the end of a burning cigarette, could be harmful to those who breathe it in and could even cause cancer, said Karla Sneegas, executive director for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.

Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation representatives tested the air before the ban in April 2007, and then again in July 2007 and September 2007 after the ban was implemented.

The level of fine particulate was monitored in seven different venues for varying amounts of time. The average amount of indoor air pollution was 179 micrograms per cubic meter of air according prior to the ban. The readings reached as high as 800 micrograms per cubic meter in one venue and as low as about five micrograms per cubic meter of air in another venue, according to the study.

After the smoking ban took effect, levels were recorded at about zero micrograms per cubic meter of air to as high as 90 in one establishment. The average was 11 micrograms per cubic meter for all seven.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based cancer center, analyzed the results and compiled the study for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.

For more information, see web link:
Journal and Courier, March 11, 2008


New Study Released by Florida Institute for Smoking Cessation Shows Smoking Costs State Economy More Than $20 Billion a Year

The Florida Institute for Smoking Cessation (FISC), a new statewide coalition committed to reducing smoking rates in Florida, recently released an economic study indicating that smoking costs the state economy more than $20 billion per year. The cost is equivalent to $6,942 per smoker, or $17.22 per each $3.75 pack of cigarettes.

The study, conducted by the Washington Economics Group, also demonstrates the financial advantages of offering comprehensive employee-based smoking cessation benefits. Such an investment could yield the state of Florida:

  • $21 billion in positive economic impact on the state's yearly output of goods and services;
  • A $7 billion gain in labor income each year; and
  • More than 100,000 new jobs created as longer life spans and a more productive labor force create new and expanded economic opportunities.

"Most standard health plans will cover a lung transplant, but they won't help pay for smoking cessation counseling or treatment. We need to change this paradigm," said Tony Villamil, CEO of the Washington Economics Group and former chief economic advisor to Governor Jeb Bush. "Cessation is far cheaper than acute care, and our economy would save billions each year if we did more to help smokers quit before they develop costly and debilitating health problems."

The study estimated that each dollar spent on smoking cessation programs will yield $1.90 to $5.75 in economic gains for Florida employers, insurers and government. When a smoker does quit smoking successfully, a full 25 percent of the total financial benefits go to his or her employer in the form of increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

The CDC recommends comprehensive smoking cessation benefits that include:

  • At least four counseling sessions of at least 30 minutes each;
  • All FDA-approved prescription and over-the-counter nicotine replacement treatments; and
  • Counseling and medication for at least two smoking cessation attempts per year - all with low or no co-pays or deductibles for counseling and medications.

According to the Washington Economics Group study, following the CDC guidelines could save the state as much as $394.7 million in costs associated with smoking.

For more information, see web link:
The Earth Times, March 6, 2008


$2.4 Million Granted to UIC Study TV Ads, Smoking

University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) received a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the impact of anti-smoking television advertising on youth, young adult and adult smoking behaviors.

Sherry Emery, principal investigator of the study and senior research specialist at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy said, "The grant will enable us to match 10 years of Nielsen Media Research data to population surveys that include information about smoking behavior. We will examine how exposure to a variety of ads, in different areas of the United States across time, is related to smoking and quitting behaviors."

UIC researchers will use multi-level statistical models to combine ad ratings data from Nielsen with data on individual-level smoking behavior and state-level tobacco control policies.

According to Emery, Nielsen data is a valuable tool used by television stations and advertising agencies to measure ad ratings, but they are often too expensive and not constructed for academic use. The UIC researchers believe the unique combination of data will fill in important gaps in smoking behavior research.

Data from the survey will include 110 major media markets during a 10-year span from 1999 through 2008. The study will examine the relationship between televised smoking-related ads and smoking beliefs and behaviors amongst youth (ages 12 to 17), young adults (18 to 24) and adults (25 and over).

According to UIC researchers, this study will be the first to examine the impact of various types of smoking-related advertising (state and nationally sponsored tobacco control, tobacco industry, and pharmaceutical cessation aids) and how they affect young adult and adult smoking behavior, smoking status, how much they smoke, and attempts to quit. Researchers will also examine the impact of recent reductions in state-sponsored anti-smoking media campaigns. In recent years, ads for drug cessation aids have increased and tobacco industry-sponsored ads have shifted focus by marketing to adults.

For more information, see web link:
The Chicago Flame, March 3, 2008


Predictors of Sustained Smoking Cessation

Because U.S. smoking rates have not declined during the past decade, there is a renewed need to identify factors associated with smoking cessation. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers at the National Cancer Institute explored the association between ability to sustain cessation over an extended period and demographic, smoking, medical, and behavioral variables.

Researchers selected a sample of 1,379 sustained quitters (abstinent from smoking for at least 40 months) and 1,388 relapsers (abstinent for more than 8 months before relapse) from participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study, a nutritional intervention study involving Finnish men aged 50 to 69 years at baseline. Multiple regression analyses were used to evaluate potential differences between the 2 groups on baseline variables.

Compared with sustained quitters, relapsers were more likely to report symptoms of emotional distress and higher levels of nicotine dependence, to drink more alcohol, and to report more medical conditions. The researchers concluded that factors associated with both tobacco use and comorbid conditions impact an individual's ability to maintain long-term smoking cessation. They suggest that understanding the underlying mechanisms of action and potential common pathways among these factors may help to improve smoking cessation therapies.

For more information, see web link:
American Journal of Public Health , 2008, Volume 98, Issue 3


Study Finds Minority Smokers Had Less Success than Whites with Same Quit Smoking Regimen

Minority smokers had lower rates of response to the same smoking cessation treatments than White smokers in a large scale study designed to assess whether there were differences in effective stop smoking treatments for African-Americans, Hispanics and Whites. The study, published in the winter issue of the journal Ethnicity & Disease, shows the need for continued research into why these disparities continue to persist.

In this study, 559 smokers (126 African-Americans, 73 Hispanics and 360 Whites) received eight weeks of treatment with established smoking cessation aids: buproprion, nicotine patch, and individual counseling. Approximately 60 percent of Whites achieved the end goal of four weeks of continuous abstinence during the last four weeks of treatment, while 38 percent of African-Americans were successful and 41 percent of Hispanics were successful.

Exact mechanisms for these differences in treatment outcomes were not able to be pinpointed in this study. However, study investigators did identify factors specific to ethnic differences that could serve as guides for tailored interventions. In African-Americans, quitting occurred less frequently among participants with lower body mass index and a household member who smoked. Interventions aimed at educating this population with accurate information about weight and weight gain as related to stopping smoking and at restricting smoking within the household may be effective strategies in this population. For Hispanics, age was a significant predictor in that those who were older were more successful at quitting, a possible indicator of cohort-related differences in attitudes towards smoking. Interventions with specific messages for different age groups within the Hispanic population may be relevant.

Early quitting was a strong predictor of success in all races and ethnicities measured, underscoring the need for smokers to get help in quitting with efficacious treatment methods such as those used in this study as soon as possible.

For more information, see web link :
Columbia University Medical Center Press Release, February 22, 2008


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Other Cessation News

DOD Anti-Tobacco Campaign Invades Military Markets

The Department of Defense isn't just blowing smoke about its tobacco cessation campaign. "Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud" is making its presence felt with enthusiastic marketing initiatives in 13 U.S. metropolitan markets containing 28 major military installations.

The campaign positions military members as role models, particularly to children, as a motivation to quit using tobacco. On the "Quit Tobacco" website, users can get information; develop a personalized plan for quitting; play games; listen to podcasts; connect to Federal, military, state, local and on-line cessation programs; and communicate privately with a trained cessation counselor seven days a week.

"Kicking the habit can be tougher than a lot of people think," said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. S. Ward Casscells in a recent blog on "Aside from the obvious nicotine dependency, psychological barriers may be just as difficult to overcome. The 'Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud' campaign is designed to help service members quit by reminding them to do it for themselves and the people they love."

The social marketing initiative for the tobacco cessation campaign targets 702,000 military active duty people, junior enlisted E-1 through E-4s. Marketing and advertising placements include major web presence on, mobile and stationary billboards, direct mailings to 160,000 active duty people, radio public service announcements and paid ads in Military Times and Stars & Stripes newspapers.

There are also placements in commercial theaters, on pizza delivery boxes and gas pump toppers at commercial locations within five miles of targeted military installations.

According to a DOD survey of health-related behaviors among junior enlisted active duty military personnel, the prevalence of smoking among 18-25 year olds was significantly higher than for their civilian counterparts, as well as for older, higher ranking service members.

Tobacco use costs DOD an estimated $1.6 billion a year in additional medical care through increased hospitalization, missed work days and decreased night vision among others. Ultimately, tobacco use affects military readiness. Eliminating harmful tobacco products keeps service members at their best and "fit to fight."

For more information, see web link:
Air Force Link, March 21, 2008


Quitters Honored at Washington Wizards' DC Tobacco-Free-Family Night

DC Tobacco Free Families (DCTFF) hosted a special evening at a recent Washington Wizard's game against the Los Angeles Clippers for more than 100 D.C. residents that have quit smoking using the free services of the District's Quitline and Unity Health Care, Inc.

Unity and Quitline participants were treated to this celebratory evening to reward them for their efforts to stop smoking. A small group was lucky enough to view the game from DCTFF's VIP suite and meet former Washington Bullet's center Gheorghe Muresan. "It was an extraordinary moment for the Unity and Quitline participants to be congratulated on their efforts by 7' 7" Muresan and made the evening even more memorable," said Vince Keane, President and CEO of Unity Health Care, Inc.

Highlights for the evening included a halftime interview with Keane at the press table about the success of the DCTFF campaign in providing free tobacco cessation counseling and nicotine patches and lozenges to Unity patients and Quitline participants. In the fourth quarter, the Unity and Quitline participants in the VIP suite were shown on the scoreboard to honor their success in front of all the basketball fans at the Verizon Center.

For more information, see web link:
PRNewsWire, March 20, 2008


$17 Million Tobacco Free Florida Campaign Ignites Statewide

The Florida Department of Health has launched a $17 million statewide social marketing and public relations anti-tobacco campaign -- the largest in a decade. The multi-faceted Tobacco Free Florida campaign showcases print, television, radio and online advertising; and features cutting edge interactive platforms, community events, educational outreach and branded programs. Partnerships with renowned brands are expanding the vast reach and impact of this vital campaign to combat the pervasive problem of tobacco use in the Sunshine State where each year, more than 28,000 Floridians die from smoking.

Targeting the Florida market with particular emphasis on the 11-17 age group, adults 18-24, small businesses, chronic disease sufferers, pregnant women, low-income households and parents, the campaign will touch millions statewide.

The comprehensive media campaign features compelling print, billboard, broadcast and online advertising. The initial series of ads educates consumers on tobacco cessation, the dangers of smokeless tobacco and smoking during pregnancy, and encourages businesses to comply with the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. More than 200,000 television and radio spots will air in every major market in Florida, and online geo-targeted impressions will exceed 400 million.

The first campaign ad, targeting adult smokers, depicts a child playing catch by himself as a cautionary voiceover warns of smoking's annual death toll - 31,000 children are left fatherless. Launched during Super Bowl XLII, the highest rated championship game in a decade, the commercial surpassed all expectations with more than 10 million viewers statewide. The commercial was also featured on YouTube and amassed more than 270,000 views online. The commercial continues to receive significant airtime, running during primetime shows such as "American Idol."

The Tobacco Free Florida website, is a comprehensive resource for both smokers and non-smokers including cessation tools, tobacco statistics and a calendar of statewide events that campaign teams will visit. In addition, the site features all the interactive components of the campaign, free music downloads from Florida bands and broadcast commercials.

The campaign has partnered with YouTube to sponsor the YouCare video contest where entrants share why they don't smoke. The contest allows users to vote for their favorite submission and the top 50 videos will be shown on the first ever statewide On-Demand channel devoted exclusively to the campaign, reaching more than 2 million subscribers to Comcast and Bright House Networks Digital Cable. A panel of judges will pick the grand prize winner who will receive an Apple iMac computer and an iPod touch.

Quitline (1-877-U-CAN NOW) offers free nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges and provides confidential telephone counseling to cigarette or chewing tobacco users. For the first time, Quitline will leverage web-based communication strategies to increase the use of this cessation tool. The Tobacco Free Florida website provides the technology for smokers to enter their phone number, click the "Call to Quit" icon, and be automatically connected to a Quitline representative. Users also have the ability to schedule their call from a Quitline representative by submitting an online form.

For more information, see web link:
PRNewsWire, March 18, 2008


Arizona Senate Approves Smoking Cessation Treatments for State Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Arizona Senate recently passed legislation allowing the state Medicaid program to expend moneys to provide smoking cessation treatments to eligible members. The measure was approved by a vote of 27 to 3.

Currently, Arizona is one of just seven states nationwide that doesn't cover smoking cessation programs in the state's Medicaid program, which in Arizona is the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

Introduced by Sen. Barbara Leff (R-Dist. 11), Senate Bill 1418 would have no impact on the state's General Fund and would provide benefits for nicotine replacement therapies and tobacco use medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to eligible AHCCCS beneficiaries who are seeking to quit smoking. Currently, these measures include items such as the nicotine patch, gum and lozenges, as well as medications such as Zyban and Chantix, which help ease nicotine withdrawal symptoms and block the effect of nicotine.

"Helping people to stop smoking will not only benefit the individuals, but will benefit the State," Leff said. "Smoking causes massive health problems, and the treatments for those diseases are all being paid for by taxpayers through the AHCCCS program. Getting people off tobacco will result in a savings for the State and an improvement in the lives of the people served by AHCCCS."

It is estimated that 36 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries are smokers - significantly higher than the national average of 21 percent, according to figures from the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Currently, AHCCCS spends about $316 million each year on smoking-related illnesses -- totaling about 14 percent of the system's costs. If fully implemented, SB 1418 would make AHCCCS eligible to recover nearly 67 percent of those expenses through federal matching funds. The measure will next go before the House for consideration.

For more information, see web link:
PRNewsWire, March 18, 2008


Rhode Island Bill Targets Cigarette Sales in Pharmacies

A bill under consideration in the Rhode Island House of Representatives would ban cigarette sales at pharmacies that also offer walk-in clinics. The Rhode Island Medical Society said it doesn't make sense to offer cigarettes and health-care under the same roof.

"Cigarettes are responsible for three of the top three killers of Americans," said Dr. Nick Tsiongas, the society's president.

Retailers and the operators of the retail-based clinics oppose the bill.

"We have a huge public health issue in this country regarding tobacco use, but restricting the sale of tobacco in a retail setting just because they have a landlord-tenant relationship with a health-care provider may not be the best way to address that public health issue," said Tine Hansen-Turton of the Convenient Care Association.

The clinics said identifying cigarette smokers gives them the opportunity to offer cessation counseling. Operators of the clinics also said they feel the bill is a veiled attempt to keep retail-based health clinics out of Rhode Island.

For more information, see web link:
WJAR - NBC 10 Providence, March 11, 2008


E-cards Encourage Tobacco Users in Quitting (, a website promoting Utah's The TRUTH's "We Did It" campaign, has unveiled a new set of electronic greeting cards (e-cards) for users to send to their loved ones as encouragement in quitting tobacco.

The Utah Department of Health's (UDOH) "We Did It" campaign is the first of its kind to customize its messages to non-tobacco users. The campaign is based on the fact that tobacco users are 50 percent more likely to quit when they have social support. "The e-cards now available on the website may be that nudge people need to kick the habit," said Lena Dibble, media coordinator, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, UDOH. "They are a low-pressure way to remind a loved one that they have support in quitting tobacco."

Users choose from a selection of 10 e-cards, each one featuring a lighthearted message about the importance of quitting tobacco.

"We hope this new feature can serve as the link between the website and the tobacco user," said Dibble. "The TRUTH's e-cards are the perfect example of our message - that people truly do have power to help their loved ones quit tobacco for good."

In just a short time, has attracted more than 4,000 Utahns to the site and has captured international attention. While ( has already served as a direct resource for tobacco users, educates people close to tobacco users on how best to be supportive through the quitting process.

The website offers practical guidance and tips to help loved ones quit and make homes and businesses smoke free, as well as success stories and information on tobacco trends in Utah. Tips on the website include informing employees of any cessation benefits available through one's company health plan, planning activities that avoid the temptation to smoke, and approaching leaders of local events or venues (i.e. rodeos, sports parks, fairs) to ask them to consider going smoke free.

For more information, see external PDF:
Utah Department of Health News Release, March 11, 2008


Attorney General Calls for Allocation of $15.7 Million to Fund Quitline and Other Cancer Fighting Programs

Anti-smoking campaigns and other cancer-fighting programs throughout the state of Connecticut may get a multi-million dollar boost from federal funds.

At a press conference held at the Capitol recently, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal urged the legislature to allocate $15.7 million to the Connecticut Comprehensive Cancer Plan to restore the services of the state's Quitline and other tobacco cessation and education programs.

The co-chairs of the Public Health Committee have sponsored legislation to expand the Comprehensive Cancer Plan in Connecticut to improve cancer prevention and control efforts. The bill before the committee will insure that adequate funding is available to increase access and improve cancer prevention and control efforts, including treatment and support initiatives like the quit line and screening programs for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, especially for the under and uninsured.

Connecticut received more than $993 million from the Master Settlement Agreement signed in 1998 by seven tobacco companies who agreed to launch anti-smoking campaigns, change their marketing tactics and pay more than $200 billion to 46 states and six U.S. Territories instead of facing a multi-state lawsuit. Thus far, $993 million has been given to Connecticut but only about $14 million has been spent on anti-tobacco programs.

Last year, more than 13,000 people - in just one month - sought assistance to quit smoking through the Quitline smoking cessation program. The Quitline combines counseling and nicotine replacement pharmaceutical drugs. Due to the high volume of calls, funds for the program were exhausted last year and new applicants had to be turned away less than 30 days after the program began.

Connecticut has the resources to support these programs, Blumenthal said, it just needs to make the moves to do so.

"We have the financial resources - $140 million every year from Big Tobacco -- to fund a strong tobacco prevention and cessation program to prevent children from smoking," Blumenthal said.

For more information, see web link:
The Stamford Times, March 5, 2008


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