Mondays! How to stay quit after the Great American Smokeout

Nov 15, 2013, 12:31 ET from The Monday Campaigns

Nearly All Quitters Relapse – Evidence-based Monday Approach Helps Sustain Effort

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the Great American Smokeout approaches on November 21st for its 38th year of rallying smokers to quit the habit on the third Thursday in November, The Monday Campaigns encourages individuals and groups to take advantage of "Quit & Stay Quit Monday," its evidence-based support program that leverages the "Monday effect," to build on the Smokeout and boost chances for success.


Smoking remains the number one cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which organizes the Smokeout. And while about 70% of the 46.6 million cigarette smokers in the U.S. would like to quit the habit, unfortunately, the average quit attempt lasts just eight days and only five percent of smokers will quit in a given year. The good news is that growing evidence shows a weekly approach may provide a formula for increased success.

"Monday is the day people are open to starting healthy behaviors and specifically to quitting smoking," said Morgan Johnson, MPH and program director at The Monday Campaigns, a New York-based nonprofit organization. In fact, a study coauthored by Johnson and recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found that more people conduct Google searches about quitting smoking on Monday than any other day of the week in seven different languages.

Moreover, a survey of state smoking quitline data showed that Monday is often the most popular day for call-ins, and a majority of those surveyed by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) website,, felt that Monday was the best day to quit smoking. NCI has found success with its Healthy Monday Challenge, an online competition encouraging quitters to check in weekly.

"Tapping into this collective mindset can impact programs designed to encourage quitting," said Joanna E. Cohen, also a coauthor of the study and director of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Institute for Global Tobacco Control. "Campaigns for people to quit may benefit from shifting to weekly cues to increase the number of quit attempts participants make each year."

How Quit & Stay Quit Can Help

Quit & Stay Quit Monday (QSQM) helps quitters take advantage of 52 chances a year to quit for good.  Individuals can join Quit & Stay Quit on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to access free information and tips and stay connected with our quitting community.

The program offers organizations and groups the opportunity to partner and access additional tools such as posters, text updates and other materials, find "quit buddies," or join a social media community. 

"We help individuals, organizations and groups leverage Monday, the start of the week, to keep moving in the right direction," said Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, which supports research and public health campaigns based on the Monday effect.  "Our surveys and other research indicate there are weekly rhythms that seem to drive people's behaviors – Monday is a built-in reset on our calendar that provides a recurring opportunity for a fresh start when people are 'ready to buy' into health and most likely to benefit from external support."

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The Monday Campaigns is a nonprofit organization in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities. They dedicate the first day of every week to health to create a movement of individuals and organizations that join together to commit to healthy behaviors that can help end preventable chronic diseases.

SOURCE The Monday Campaigns