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HEALTH launches personal story campaign to encourage smokers to quit

In honor of the New Year, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is encouraging smokers to quit in 2013 with the launch of its new smoking cessation campaign, "Tobacco Made Me." The new campaign, which showcases personal stories from Rhode Islanders whose lives have been negatively impacted by smoking and tobacco use, is designed to motivate current smokers to call the state's quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

"Quitting smoking is tough, but the more times that a smoker tries to quit, the more likely he or she is to ultimately be successful," said Michael Fine, MD, director of HEALTH. "Smokers should know that services to help them quit are available and that HEALTH supports them in making a commitment to kick the habit. We are up against $10 billion of tobacco marketing money, but working together, we can help Rhode Island's remaining smokers to quit."

The new campaign is modeled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) national "Tips from Former Smokers Campaign," which used ex-smokers' personal stories to increase quitline calls in other states by up to four times the normal volume.

HEALTH has launched a new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TobaccoMadeMe that includes video interviews with Rhode Islanders sharing their personal stories of overcoming nicotine addiction. The page will also be a community space where all Rhode Islanders can share their stories and support each other in their efforts to quit smoking. The videos have also been added to www.Quitnowri.com.

A series of bus, radio, and print advertisements featuring quotes from each personal story will assist in raising campaign awareness. "Tobacco Made Me" will run through February, 2013.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 12-28-2012

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