Quitters Do Relapse After Great American Smokeout

Monday Campaign Helps Them Stay Quit 52/12

Nov 10, 2014, 11:00 ET from The Monday Campaigns

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 20, The Great American Smokeout will make its 39th annual drive to get America to quit. And yet smoking remains the number one cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization.

About 70% of the 47 million cigarette smokers in the U.S. would like to quit the habit and 42.7% have made quit attempts. Unfortunately, the average quit attempt lasts just eight days and only five percent of smokers will manage to quit in a given year. The good news is there is a growing pool of evidence that shows a weekly approach may provide a formula for increased success. "Quit And Stay Quit Monday" is such a platform that uses weekly messaging to help quitters quit.

The Quit and Stay Quit Monday campaign is one of the Monday Campaigns' public health initiatives. Monday is a proven day when people naturally make healthier choices and offers quitters a weekly opportunity to re-quit if a relapse occurs. Through the Quit & Stay Quit Monday program, quitters can join a support community that uses an evidence-based approach to help smokers quit.

"Monday is the day people are open to starting healthy behaviors and specifically to quitting smoking," said Morgan Johnson, MPH and Program Development & Research Director at The Monday Campaigns, a New York-based nonprofit organization. In fact, a study coauthored by Johnson and 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 worldwide.

Moreover, a survey of state smoking quitline data showed that Monday is often the most popular day for call-ins. Majority of those surveyed by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) website, Smokefree.gov, 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."

Quit & Stay Quit Monday 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 tips and stay connected with the support community.

The program offers organizations and groups the opportunity to partner and access additional tools such as posters, email tips and other materials.

"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 to seek a fresh start on Mondays. And we're with them 52/12."

For more information, visit http://www.iquitmonday.org.

The Monday Campaigns is a nonprofit organization in association with The Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at 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.

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SOURCE The Monday Campaigns