Smoking cessation campaign continues statewide
"I did it. And so can you," is what former smokers are telling their fellow Coloradans in a new statewide public awareness campaign.
The launch of the public awareness campaign marks the second anniversary of the Colorado Quitline and the Colorado QuitNet, two free tobacco-cessation services offered to residents statewide by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Since their inception, the Colorado Quitline (800-639-QUIT) has provided counseling services to 12,000 smokers, while the QuitNet (www.co.quitnet.com) has offered support to more than 9,000 Coloradans.
"Anyone who has ever quit smoking will tell you it's one of the biggest accomplishments of their life," said QuitNet user Dub Jones of Aurora. "It's like being freed from the prison of addiction, and that's definitely something to celebrate."
The "I Did It!" campaign includes a series of television ads that feature testimonials.
Participants range in age from 20 to 62 - several of whom smoked for 30 years or longer before getting the help they needed.
The concept was borrowed from a successful smoking cessation campaign conducted by the Utah Department of Public Health.
The ads, which were produced by the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (STEPP) - a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - are designed to let people know that with services such as the Quitline and QuitNet, quitting smoking is easier than ever before.
"I quit smoking for my kids, my health and because I was tired of watching my money go up in smoke," said Quitline user Amy Lee of Denver, who is featured in the ads. "The Quitline gave me the support I needed to quit for good."
Douglas H. Benevento, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said, "This public awareness campaign confirms that, with the help of the Quitline and QuitNet programs, it really is possible to stop smoking. We applaud those individuals who have already quit and look forward to helping more Coloradans become former smokers."
Funded with proceeds from the Master Settlement Agreement reached by the states' attorneys general and the tobacco industry, the Colorado Quitline is a toll-free telephone counseling service that connects people who want to quit smoking with trained counselors who can guide and support them through the quitting process.
Operated by the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, this service is available in both English and Spanish to residents anywhere in the Colorado.
The Quitline is available Monday through Thursday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., on Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Colorado QuitNet is an Internet-based tobacco cessation service that offers peer support through an online community of individuals who are trying to quit, as well as expert advice on quitting strategies and information about pharmaceutical products that may be helpful.