WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Lung Association and WellPoint Inc. are supporting smokers in their efforts to quit for good through the "Quitter in You" smoking cessation campaign. WellPoint awarded the American Lung Association $1.5 million in support of the program. The campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good. A survey from the American Lung Association found that six out of 10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.
While most smokers are not successful the first time they try to quit, with each quit attempt they become a little wiser about what to do and not do the next time. The "Quitter in You" campaign aims to change the way people think about past quit attempts and motivate them to try again. A quit attempt is defined as not smoking for at least one day with the intent of not starting again.
"The American Lung Association wants every smoker to know that they are not alone in their unsuccessful quit attempts, and that with each quit attempt they become one step closer to becoming smoke-free," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "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 "Quitter in You" campaign features a web site called www.quitterinyou.org, radio and Out-of-Home public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking® Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking® Online and Freedom From Smoking® in-person clinic. The campaign is focused in 14 target markets where local American Lung Associations will be working with WellPoint's local affiliate companies. The target markets are: Atlanta, Ga.; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Louisville, Ky.; Manchester, N.H.; Milwaukee, Wis.; New Haven, Conn.; New York City; Portland, Maine; Richmond, Va.; Sacramento, Calif.; and St. Louis, Mo.
The "Quitter in You" campaign is also reaching Spanish speaking communities with a Spanish-language web site, radio public service announcements, Freedom From Smoking® cessation resources, as well counseling and one-on-one support from Spanish-speaking registered nurses, respiratory therapists and trained smoking cessation counselors through the Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA).
"Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it's not easy. Studies show it typically takes several attempts before most smokers quit for good, so it's important that a person not give up," said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint's Executive Vice President of Clinical Health Policy and Chief Medical Officer. "The American Lung Association's Quitter in You smoking cessation initiative helps educate and empower people trying to quit smoking, bringing them one step closer to success."
The "Quitter in You" campaign is made possible through funding from WellPoint Inc. 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 more than $193 billion each year, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,446 per adult smoker.
About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1 800 LUNG USA (1 800 586 4872) or visit www.lung.org.
About WellPoint, Inc.
At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members' health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint's plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
SOURCE American Lung Association