FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2017) – Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line is taking center stage in a new advertising campaign that encourages people to stop using tobacco products. The ads are designed to lead people to the commonwealth’s free tobacco counseling service, 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 administers Kentucky’s Quit Line Program. “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 at 1-800-QUIT NOW.”
Tobacco use and dependence is the leading preventable cause of death in Kentucky and the nation. More than 8,000 Kentuckians die each year because of tobacco-related diseases. 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 new campaign emphasizes health and lifestyle benefits of quitting tobacco. One of the TV commercials features a woman underwater holding her breath for 30 seconds and delivering the message with words written on placards. To see a sampling of advertisements, visit http://red-stash.com/QUIT/.
In addition to ads, numerous physicians and healthcare professionals will receive direct mail pieces with information about Quit Now Kentucky to encourage patient referrals. The campaign was funded by a combination of federal grant and Master Settlement Agreement funds.
Quit Now Kentucky is a statewide telephone service that provides free counseling and support for people who want to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. Highly trained cessation specialists 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.
Quit Line services are available in English, Spanish, and Arabic at the time of the call and more than 190 languages using a translation service. TDY/TDD is available at (800) 969-1393.
For employers wanting to help their employees quit, information is available through the Quit Line and the local health department. Group sessions and cessation materials can be made available at the worksite.