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NAQC Newsroom: Announcements

HHS/CDC’s National Tobacco Education Campaign: Can It Save the Life of the Smoker You Love?

Thursday, March 15, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
CONTACT
Natalia Gromov
North American Quitline Consortium
Phone: 800-398-5489 ext 701
E-Mail: media@naquitline.org
Web: www.naquitline.org

HHS/CDC’s National Tobacco Education Campaign: Can It Save the Life of the Smoker You Love?
Statement of Linda A. Bailey, President and CEO, North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC)

OAKLAND, CA (March 15, 2012)– The HHS/CDC’s National Tobacco Education Campaign, Tips from Former Smokers, will advance cessation in two important ways. First, it will motivate smokers to quit. Second, it will link them with resources that make their quit attempts more successful. If a person you love still smokes, now is the time to encourage her or him to take action!

While the nation has made tremendous progress in reducing smoking, over 40 million adults continue to smoke in the U.S. and an estimated 443,000 Americans die from tobacco use each year. The reason is clear; smoking is highly addictive. As the hard-hitting ads from the HHS/CDC campaign show, many smokers live with diseases that have a devastating impact on their lives. The list includes diseases such as lung cancer, Buerger’s disease, head and neck cancer, asthma, stroke, and heart disease. The life-changing impact of these diseases include such things as lung removal; amputation of legs, feet and fingers; tracheotomy and feeding tubes; open heart surgery; paralysis; asthma attacks and lifelong medication regimes.

The HHS/CDC campaign aims not only to build public awareness of the health impact caused by tobacco smoke and to encourage smokers not to smoke around others (especially children), but also to encourage smokers to quit and to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (or visit www.smokefree.gov) for free help in quitting. If a person you love still smokes, encourage them to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Making Quit Attempts More Successful
By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, smokers can be connected with the quitline in their states. A quitline is a health service that offers telephone support – information, counseling, medication and other support – for people who want to quit using tobacco. Quitline services generally include telephone counseling along with a range of services such as: mailed materials, referrals to other cessation services, taped messages or web programs, the provision of nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) and other cessation medications or assistance in obtaining them, and language- or culturally-appropriate services directed toward specific populations within states. In the U.S., quitlines exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. A snapshot of the services available in each state is shown on the map at http://map.naquitline.org.

The scientific evidence is clear: according to the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Guideline on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence and the Cochrane Review, recognized around the world as the gold standards for treatment of tobacco use, quitlines work in helping smokers quit.[1]Research demonstrates that the impact of quitlines in the U.S. has been extensive and impressive. Data from NAQC’s most recent annual survey of quitlines shows that in fiscal year 2010, U.S. quitlines received nearly a million calls (up from 650,000 in fiscal year 2008), enrolled 1.25% of all U.S. smokers, and provided evidence-based services (counseling or medications) to 1.1% of all U.S. smokers. It is noteworthy that the five U.S. state quitlines with the highest reach collectively enrolled 4.6% of their smokers and provided services to 4.4% of their smokers, with one quitline providing services to nearly 7% of its smokers. The median budget for state quitline services has increased from $622,000 in 2005 to $1.34 million in fiscal year 2010. On average, states invested $3.91 per adult smoker (median investment was $1.80) in quitline services (counseling and medications). [NAQC FY2010 Annual Survey of Quitlines, unpublished data] Providing cessation treatment services also is a cost-effective investment. As shown in Massachusetts, providing comprehensive tobacco cessation benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries saved more than $3 for every $1 spent on services.[2]

During the HHS/CDC National Tobacco Education Campaign, quitlines anticipate receiving a significant increase in calls and helping tens of thousands of smokers quit smoking.

Motivating Smokers to Quit
We anticipate that the HHS/CDC campaign will be highly effective in motivating smokers to quit. Public education campaigns have long been shown to increase the number of smokers who quit.[3]According to the 2012 Report of the Surgeon General,Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults,mass media campaigns prevent initiation of tobacco use and reduce its prevalence. In states that have undertaken public education campaigns, smoking rates have been reduced faster and to lower levels than the nation as a whole.[4][5][6]Evidence shows that the media campaigns have helped drive these declines.

During this 12-week campaign the federal government will invest a little more than the tobacco industry’s marketing investment for a single day (i.e., $29 million)[7]and as a nation, we stand to reap significant benefits – fewer deaths and diseases among those we love. So take a moment and encourage the smoker in your life to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help in quitting.

For additional resources, see www.naquitline.org.

NORTH AMERICAN QUITLINE CONSORTIUM
NAQC is a non-profit professional organization that aims to maximize the access, use and effectiveness of quitlines; provide leadership and a unified voice to promote quitlines; and offer a forum to link those interested in quitline operations.It is comprised of over 400 quitline professionals at state and provincial health departments, quitline service provider organizations, research institutes and national organizations in the United States and Canada. The Consortium enables professionals from these organizations to learn from each other and to improve the quality of quitline services.

RESOURCES FOR THE MEDIA
For additional information on the media campaign please see www.naquitline.org/media or call 800-398-5489extension 701 or e-mail us media@naquitline.org.

# # #

[1]Fiore MC et al (2008). Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service; and Stead LF, Perera R, Lancaster T. Telephone counselling for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD002850. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002850.pub2.
[2]Richard P, et al. The Return on Investment of a Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Program in Massachusetts. PloS One, Volume 7, Issue 1, January 6, 2012.
[3]Durkin SJ et al. Effects of Different Types of Antismoking Ads on Reducing Disparities in Smoking Cessation Among Socioeconomic Subgroups. AJPH Published Online, October 2009.
[4]Davis KC et al. Antismoking Media Caompaign and Smoking Cessation Outcomes, New York State, 2003-2009. Preventing Chronic Disease. Volume 9, 2012.
[5]Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program, Annual Report 2011.
[6]Liu H and Tan W. The Effect of Anti-Smoking Media Campaign on Smoking Behavior: The California Experience. Annals of Economics and Finance 10-1, 29-47, 2009.
[7]Federal Trade Commission data as cited by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Statement of Matthew L. Myers, March 8, 2012.

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