WEST TRENTON, N.J., March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) announced today that five New Jersey municipalities have joined its "Kick Butt" competition that pits them against one another to see which town can reduce smoking amongst its public employees the most. The five towns are Parsippany-Troy Hills, Paterson, Vineland, West Milford and Woodbridge. The MWC also announced the launch of a new website to help participants in the challenge: www.kickbuttcontest.org.
The MWC has teamed with Pfizer and the Fox Chase Cancer Center to launch the new smoking cessation initiative in the State of New Jersey.
"We are thrilled that these five communities have agreed to participate in the Kick Butt challenge," said Emily Littman, Director of the Mayors Wellness Campaign, which is an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. "The negative health consequences for smokers and those near them are widely known, however many people continue to smoke due to its highly addictive nature. Unfortunately, many municipal employees are susceptible to these addictions and secondhand effects."
The five towns will compete to achieve the highest percent of employees who have gone the longest without smoking. The winning municipality will be featured at a statewide press conference in or around the end of September.
The new website includes a blog, an "ask the expert" feature, relevant news and many resources for participants to help them quit smoking.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and its incidence amongst public employees, particularly police and firefighters is high," said Emily Littman, Director of the Mayors Wellness Campaign. "We are grateful to both Pfizer and Fox Chase for their collaboration on this important project."
"We applaud these individuals for making a collective effort to stop smoking because we know more smokers successfully quit when they have the support of others," said Dave Terranova, NJ State Director, Primary Care, for Pfizer. "This program will enhance the quality of life for many New Jersey residents, and we hope it serves as an inspiration to other Garden State communities."
According to Suzanne M. Miller, PhD, Director, Psychosocial and Biobehavioral Medicine Program at Fox Chase and Amy Lazev, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor at Fox Chase, "Effective programs have been designed at FCCC to help even heavy smokers quit, and Fox Chase is committed to advising on state-of-the-art quitting techniques and relapse prevention. We are pleased to provide this important resource to the Mayors Wellness Campaign."
"There are no losers in this competition," explained Littman. "At the end of the contest, every participating municipality will receive a $1,000 grant after providing the MWC with all the documentation required."
About the Mayors Wellness Campaign
The Mayors Wellness Campaign is an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (www.njhcqi.org) in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (www.njslom.org). The MWC supports mayors as champions of community health. The goal is to increase opportunities for New Jersey residents to participate in daily physical activity with a long-term goal of reducing health care costs secondary to obesity. Through public-private partnerships, the MWC provides structure and resources for healthy community initiatives. By encouraging mayors to play a leadership role in supporting local opportunities for active, healthy lifestyles, the intent of the MWC is to improve health and make New Jersey a national leader in community-based health interventions. In 2006, each of the 566 mayors in New Jersey's municipalities were mailed the MWC "Toolbox," a manual designed to guide them through the implementation of wellness programs in their communities. Broken down into four major sections – Youth in Motion; Employees in Motion; Seniors in Motion; and Communities in Motion – the Toolbox outlines programs that can be directly used in every community in New Jersey. The Toolbox can also be found on the MWC website at www.mayorswellnesscampaign.org.
Pfizer Inc.: Working Together for a Healthier World™
At Pfizer we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
About Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation's first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center's nursing program has received the Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, call 1-888-FOX-CHASE or 1-888-369-2427 or go to www.fccc.edu.
Contact: Donald Sico 856-314-8066 or Emily Littman 609-393-4931
SOURCE Mayors Wellness Campaign