Reality Advertising Campaign Tracks a Real New Yorker Quitting Smoking
Reality TV Approach of 'Bob Quits' Campaign Highlights Ways to Help Smokers Quit
NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a real New Yorker as he attempts to quit smoking, the American Legacy FoundationÂ® and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have partnered to apply a reality TV approach to a new advertising campaign that launches in New York City on Monday, January 26.
Designed around the everyman character of "Bob," the campaign follows a real-life New Yorker as he contemplates quitting smoking, makes a plan to stop, and then carries out this plan in his everyday life. The camera captures Bob at work, at play, and enjoying family life while struggling to give up his nicotine addiction. The campaign honestly portrays common challenges and pitfalls of the quitting process, while Bob provides his own commentary and personal insight. The central approach and take-away message from the campaign is that quitting smoking can be difficult, but by developing a quit plan, smokers who want to quit are better prepared to face the challenges of quitting.
Approaching the quit process in a more strategic way by having an active, knowledge-based plan greatly increases a person's chance for success, according to American Legacy Foundation President and CEO Cheryl Healton.
"More than 70 percent of New York City smokers want to quit, but very few are able to quit for good. Planning for the anticipated challenges in the quit process and having a support system can greatly improve your chances of stopping smoking. We're encouraging all New York smokers who want to quit to plan and prepare, in advance, for the challenges they will face," Healton said.
A recent American Legacy Foundation survey of the attitudes of New York City smokers found that 71% actively want to and are trying to quit smoking and that 40% had made quitting one of their New Year's resolutions. The amount of smokers wanting and planning to quit, coupled with the new statewide workplace smoking ban, creates an atmosphere that is more supportive of those hoping to give up their addictive and potentially deadly habit.
"Beating nicotine addiction is hard. Most New York City smokers want to quit but can't. 'Bob,' the New Yorker featured in this campaign, shows the challenges of becoming tobacco-free. He makes a plan, tells his friends and family, uses medication, and gets the help he needs to make a serious attempt to quit. We hope Bob and other smokers who try to quit use proven methods to increase their chances of quitting and of leading longer, healthier lives," said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH.
The American Legacy Foundation recommends that smokers begin planning to quit five days before they actually stop smoking. These planning days allow the smoker to:
Identify reasons for quitting (such as improving your health or the health of your family, or saving money)
Tell friends and family members about the quit attempt, in order to build a social support network
Change habits or identify "triggers" that might lead to smoking (such as always drinking coffee and having a cigarette at the same time each morning, or having a cigarette before you go to bed at night)
Talk with your doctor about anti-craving tools such as nicotine patches or medication to get you through the stress of quitting
Know that repeated quit attempts are not failures -- rather they are steps toward ultimate success
Plan other ways to keep busy
These quit concepts and others specific to Bob's own quit attempt are highlighted in effective, and sometimes humorous, ad executions that change daily as the new campaign evolves. The Bob campaign will include print, radio and outdoor ads. Fellow New Yorkers can follow Bob's quit attempt by calling the City's 311 line or 1-888-483-1BOB, or by visiting www.bobquits.com, a Web site that will include:
A different short film everyday that captures Bob's experiences as he struggles through his multi-week quit attempt with the cameras rolling
Excerpts from Bob's blog (a Web-based diary) * Cessation resources for smokers who are motivated by Bob's story and
are seeking further assistance in their efforts to quit smoking
The advertising campaign will run from January 26 through February 22, but the online component of the campaign will continue to be available for New Yorkers and others who want to learn more about the quit process and Bob's story.
American Legacy Foundation
The American Legacy Foundation is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, DC, the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use through grants, technical assistance and training, youth activism, strategic partnerships, counter-marketing and grass roots marketing campaigns, public relations, and outreach to populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco. The foundation's national programs include Circle of Friends(TM), Great Start, a Priority Populations Initiative, Streetheory and truthÂ®. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states and the tobacco industry. Visit www.americanlegacy.org.
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is one of the world's largest public health agencies, with nearly 6,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.3 billion. The Department's mission is to protect and promote the health and mental health of all New Yorkers, to promote the recovery of those with mental illness and chemical dependencies, and to promote the realization of full potential of those with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. The Department's programs encompass areas of disease control, environmental health, epidemiology, health care access and improvement, health promotion and disease prevention, and mental hygiene services, serving the more than 8 million people who make New York City their home as well as the more than 3 million others who work or visit here each day.