Thursday, 21 November 2002 - 1:30 PM
Hotel Nikko Peninsula Room (80)

MEDI-357. If You Advertise Cessation... They Will Come

Clare B. Bradley, MD MPH, Suffolk County Department of Health Services,

Learning Objectives: Design innovative strategies to increase participation in cessation programs. Demonstrate to local media that there is interest in cessation and the public service benefit of encouraging tobacco free living.

Abstract: The presentation will be useful to agencies who wish to use the media to draw participants into cessation programs. The key point is people will come to cessation programs if the messages are non- threatening and have meaning in their lives. The theme of our campaign is “Smokefree Moments”. Smokers are encouraged to make one moment smokefree and see what happens when they begin to add up. One message uses an image of a pregnant woman and one shows small children. Those ads stress smokefree moments are great alone, but even better when shared. Participants will see a comprehensive approach. We will show how we reached out to smokers through the media and other venues. We will also show how we reached out to news shows and became a featured series on TV. The health reporter followed one of our 6week classes. In addition, she followed participants in their personal lives. She interviewed health professionals, gave tips about how to quit and encouraged residents to join our program. That effort prompted hundreds of calls. The audience will learn to approach recruitment for cessation in a new way. It is not necessary to beat smokers over the head with information about the harmful effects of tobacco use. It is enough to promote the benefits of a tobacco free life. I attended the 2001 national conference. A recurring theme was that smokers would not attend cessation. We have found exactly the opposite. Nearly 3000 have attended our programs in less than 2 years. We cannot accommodate the demand.

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