Two campaigns encourage smokers to keep trying to kick the habit; one emphasizes the importance of Mondays

Many New Year's resolutions have already been abandoned, but a new campaign says when it comes to kicking the smoking habit, every Monday offers the 25 percent of Kentuckians who smoke a new opportunity to try again -- giving you 52 chances a year to succeed.
The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health organization associated with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities, promotes the idea of using Monday as a day to commit to healthy behaviors.

“Studies show that Mondays are a natural opportunity to engage smokers and reduce their likelihood of relapse. It’s the January of the week, the day that smokers are looking for help," Joanna Cohen, director of Johns Hopkins' Institute for Global Tobacco Control, said in a news release.

A review of the research on the "Quit and Stay Quit Monday" website shows that Monday is the day smokers are most likely to choose as a quit date; people seek cessation services and information more on Mondays than other days; people are more engaged with online quit programs on Monday, and choosing Monday as a quit day increases confidence and success rates for quitters.

To be part of the "Quit and Stay Quit Monday" movement, the campaign suggests these steps: Quit on Monday; make a quit plan; connect with others; do a Monday check-in; celebrate progress; and quit again if you relapse until you are finally smoke-free. Its website also offers free resources and tips to help smokers quit.

Approximately two of three adult smokers, more than 22 million Americans, say they would like to quit. However, in 2015, of the 55 percent of adult smokers who made a quit attempt, only 7 percent were successful, according to the "Every Try Counts" campaign, also created to help people quit smoking.

The campaign is a two-year Food and Drug Administration initiative in 35 counties, including Kenton in Kentucky, to encourage cigarette smokers to quit through messaging that emphasizes the health benefits of quitting. The messages are being placed in and around gas stations and convenience stores, places that typically feature cigarette advertisements.

“The ‘Every Try Counts’ campaign encourages smokers to rethink their next pack of cigarettes at the most critical of places — the point of sale,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in the news release. “Tobacco companies have long used advertisements at convenience stores and gas stations to promote their products, and we plan to use that same space to embolden smokers to quit instead.”

The news release says, "Research shows those who have tried quitting before are more likely to try again, and those who have tried to quit multiple times have a higher likelihood of quitting for good."

As part of the initiative, the FDA partnered with the National Cancer Institute to create a website that provides smokers with resources and tools to help them quit, including a free text message program that sends tips and encouraging messages, a mobile app to track smoking triggers, access to trained coaches, information on FDA-approved smoking cessation products and information on the risk of smoking. These tools are available to everyone.

Additional resources for Kentuckians can be found at www.quitnowkentucky.org and www.smokefreetomorrow.org. Kentucky's Tobacco Quitline is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Also, many local health departments offer smoking cessation classes. Kentucky has also passed a law that requires insurance companies to cover smoking-cessation treatments and counseling without imposing barriers.

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