A new round of television and digital advertising from state government encourages Kentuckians to stop using tobacco. The ads direct viewers to the statse's free tobacco counseling service, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).
“We often hear about the dangerous health effects of smoking – so we wanted to create a campaign that emphasizes what is possible when you quit,” said Bobbye Gray, a registered nurse who runs the Quit Line. “We hope people will see these ads and be inspired by the positive message and motivated to seek counseling and support by calling Quit Now Kentucky.”
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in Kentucky and the nation, and especially in Kentucky, which has the naiton's highest smoking rate. "More than 8,000 Kentuckians die each year because of tobacco-related diseases," a state news release says.
"Eighty-five percent of all lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking, and Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer deaths. Smoking is a major risk factor for the four leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Annually, Medicaid and Medicare costs exceed an estimated $1.2 billion for treatment of Kentuckians suffering smoking-related diseases and conditions. This equals $300 for each of the four million people living in Kentucky."
The $499,000 ad campaign emphasizes the health and lifestyle benefits of quitting tobacco. One commercial features a woman underwater holding her breath for 30 seconds and delivering the message with words written on placards. To see a sampling of ads, visit http://red-stash.com/QUIT/. To complement the ads, physicians and health-care professionals will get mail with information about Quit Now Kentucky to encourage them to refer patients to it.
The campaign is funded by a federal grant and annual proceeds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement among states and cigarette manufacturers. It was produced by Louisville-based advertising agency Red7e.
Callers to Quit Now Kentucky speak wioth highly trained cessation specialists who answer calls daily from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. to help tobacco users develop a quit plan. Quit Now counseling and materials are provided to callers at no charge.
For employers wanting to help employees quit, information is available through the Quit Line and the local health department. Group sessions and cessation materials can be made available at worksites.
Visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/mch/hp/tobacco.htm for information on other tobacco cessation options.