Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Most Smokers Make Multiple Quit Attempts Before They Quit Smoking for Good

/PRNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association is launching a new smoking cessation campaign, "Quitter in You," designed to highlight the need to change the way Americans look at quitting. A new survey from the organization found that 6 out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows it does not always happen on the first try. But what many smokers don't realize is that they are not alone in their failed quit attempts. The Quitter in You campaign acknowledges that multiple quit attempts are normal and are necessary steps along the way to quitting for good.

"This new research shows that most people aren't successful the first time they try to quit smoking," said American Lung Association President and CEO Charles D. Connor. "But each time you try, you learn a little more about the quitter in you. You become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time. With each attempt, the American Lung Association is here to provide expert support and proven resources that have helped more than one million people quit smoking for good."

The campaign features a new Web site called quitterinyou.org, public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association's "Freedom From Smoking" program to help smokers at each step in the journey toward quitting. Working through traditional and non traditional partners, the campaign is launching this fall in five pilot cities (Harrisburg, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Tucson, Ariz.) and will be expanded in coming months through local American Lung Associations across the country.

Unsuccessful attempts to quit can leave smokers feeling alienated and discouraged. Health care professionals - often the source of information and support - understand this and recognize the need to support their patients' quit attempts. A companion survey among health care providers found that nearly 100 percent think it takes multiple attempts for the average person to quit smoking. A quit attempt is defined as not smoking for at least one day with the intent of not starting again.

The Quitter in You campaign is made possible though funding from Pfizer Inc. "Stopping smoking is a goal for our society to work toward, one accomplished through each smoker's courage to quit," said Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer's chief medical officer. "The American Lung Association is working to provide greater support for people who want to quit. We're proud to support its efforts."

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 over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.

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