Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UDOH Helps State's Remaining Tobacco Users Find Their Personal “way to quit”

Salt Lake City, April 23, 2014 – Although Utah reports the lowest adult smoking and chewing use in the country (10.2% vs. 19% national average), tobacco use continues to be the number one cause of preventable death and disease and remains a serious public health concern.

To help further reduce tobacco use in Utah, Governor Gary Herbert and Dr. David Patton, Executive Director, Utah Department of Health (UDOH), were joined by dozens of public and private partners on April 23 in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol. The group formally launched a new initiative from the UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program called way to quit.

way to quit targets current tobacco users and includes a prevention component aimed at those most at risk for using tobacco in the future. The campaign raises awareness of the health risks of tobacco and nicotine use and offers proven resources and motivation for living a tobacco-free life.

The central element of the campaign is the new website www.waytoquit.org. It describes the nature of tobacco addiction and gives detailed information about the variety of free resources the state offers those individuals struggling in this fight.

Serving as the new brand for the state’s tobacco cessation effort, way to quit messaging will blanket the state using TV, radio, and billboards to help educate and motivate Utahns to quit.

“The bottom line,” said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Patton, “is that quitting is not easy. The average smoker tries to quit 8 to 11 times, each time learning more about  him- or herself, until they ultimately succeed,” Patton emphasized. “It’s critical that our citizens understand they absolutely can become tobacco free. The resources  waytoquit.org offers are their best chance for success and can make those early quit attempts work,” he added

In conjunction with the statewide release of way to quit media materials, the campaign also launched the Share Your Quit” way to quit is also rolling out a new campaign across radio and billboard called “Share Your Quit.” With this, individuals will be able to proclaim their reason for quitting on I-15 billboards and on radio along the Wasatch Front.

“One of the best ways to quit is to build a support network by telling others you’re quitting,” explained Adam Bramwell, Marketing Manager, UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “Share Your Quit invites Utah smokers who are ready to kick the habit, or recent quitters who are holding strong, to proclaim their independence from tobacco in a big way.”

Utilizing Facebook and waytoquit.org, the campaign will collect stories from real quitters. Those who share stories have the chance to be featured on billboards or in radio commercials. The personalized ads will help the featured quitter build support with friends, family, and the community, making the quitter more accountable and more likely to succeed.

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.