Dancing with the Stars®' Mark Ballas Quits Smoking with Blueprint to Quit

Dec 03, 2013, 07:01 ET from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmy-nominated choreographer, Dancing with the Stars® professional dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas, can now add "former smoker" to his credits thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The multi-faceted star has been smoke-free for more than 6 months thanks to the comprehensive, two-part quit-smoking resource, Blueprint to Quit, available exclusively at Walmart. Now, Ballas is telling his story and sharing his personal "Quit Steps" in hopes of helping others find a way to quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.

Ballas, who began smoking as a teenager, can relate to the everyday struggle millions of Americans encounter when trying to quit smoking. Triggers like stress and being around other smokers always pushed him to light-up another cigarette, but when smoking began impacting his stamina and endurance – traits at the cornerstone of his career – Ballas turned to Blueprint to Quit, which combines two resources for quitting smoking: online behavioral support through QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to address the physical dependence on cigarettes.

"Practicing the utmost discipline in so many parts of my life, I didn't expect quitting smoking to be a struggle," said Ballas. "Day in and day out, I juggled dance rehearsals, tapings, long nights at the studio writing and recording music, and yet quitting smoking was an ongoing fight until now, thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The program allowed me to tackle tough cravings, stick to a plan that worked for me and seek support when I need it. Now, I'm proud to say I'm smoke free – my days are easier and more enjoyable as a result. I hope I can help inspire other smokers who face the same obstacles start their quit journey."

Ballas developed a series of "Quit Steps" videos to illustrate the journey he took to becoming smoke-free. Quit Steps are inspired by the steps in the Blueprint to Quit program and are designed to help others create a plan to get through every stride in their quit. They show how Mark was able to get through those tough moments, his experiences with the NicoDerm CQ patch, the QuitNet behavioral support program and how support from his friends and family was the key to his success.

Blueprint to Quit is available exclusively at Walmart and provides smokers with a two-part plan, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as NicoDerm CQ patches and Nicorette gum and lozenges, to help with the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking, and behavioral support through QuitNet. QuitNet is available online and can help with the emotional changes associated with quitting smoking. QuitNet.com is the web's largest quit-smoking community and provides smokers with access to trained experts and an online interactive community, as well as a variety of quitting materials and self-assessment tools.

For more information about Blueprint to Quit and to watch the videos of Mark's "Quit Steps," visit www.walmart.com/blueprinttoquit. Mark also video chronicled his quit to show all smokers who struggle how Blueprint to Quit helped him stay smoke-free and live a healthier lifestyle. Those videos can be viewed at www.facebook.com/NicoDermCQ.

Mark Ballas is a paid spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare and used the Blueprint to Quit program to quit smoking; however, his opinions are his own. The Blueprint to Quit program includes nicotine replacement therapy and access to online behavioral support, which GSK provided to Mark Ballas.

"Dancing with the Stars" is a registered trademark of The British Broadcasting Corporation. The Blueprint to Quit program is not affiliated with, sponsored or endorsed by The British Broadcasting Corporation.

About Blueprint to Quit
The Blueprint to Quit comprehensive quit-smoking program is a two-part plan available exclusively at Walmart that helps smokers address both the physical cravings and the behavioral changes associated with quitting smoking. The first part of the program involves using an NRT stop-smoking aid to address the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and the second part uses a behavioral support program (BSP) on QuitNet to facilitate the changing of behaviors commonly associated with smoking.

About QuitNet
Healthways is a health and well-being improvement company that strives to make the world a healthier place, and is the creator of QuitNet. QuitNet addresses the changing behaviors commonly associated with smoking. The program offers smokers who are interested in quitting a 24/7 online support program with self-assessment tools, experts and message boards to provide smokers with the support they need. QuitNet is an online BSP.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its well-known brands include Nicorette® and NicoDerm® CQ, the leading smoking cessation products; alli, the only FDA-OTC weight loss aid; as well as medicine cabinet staples, Aquafresh®, Sensodyne®, Tums® and Breathe Right®, all of which are trademarks owned by and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

About GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: http://www.gsk.com.

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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare