State’s ‘Be Free’ Anti-Tobacco Campaign Lends Smokers a Helping Hand

January 7, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The Florida Department of
Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is lending a helping hand to the 28,000
Floridians who smoke to quit — for good. Free cessation aids are available
from the Florida Quitline (1-877-U-CAN-NOW) in the form of counseling and
nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as patches, gum and lozenges. An ad
campaign blanketing the state is promoting these resources in an attempt to
positively influence tobacco users to permanently alter their behavior.

The new “Be Free” campaign message is about empowering tobacco users to
break the cycle of addiction. Statewide ads targeting adult and pregnant
smokers will reach millions on television, radio and in movie theatres and
provide resources for support and words of encouragement like “be healthier,”
“be wealthier” (pack-a-day smokers can save approximately $1,500 a year by
quitting) and “be strong.”

According to Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of
Health, the campaign is recognizing that tobacco dependency is an addiction
and providing tobacco users with tools for empowerment, which are necessary
for long-term success. She also emphasizes the importance of appealing to
smokers on an emotional level.

“Quitting is not easy and requires courage and difficult action; it is a
daily struggle which requires compassion from a smoker’s family, friends and
community. People do not view themselves as statistics, therefore it is
important for the campaign’s message to have an emotional appeal and to
provide tools and resources that provide self-empowerment,” Berfield said.

Another way the campaign is reaching smokers is through its newly launched
website www.floridaquitline.com which features a Quitline introduction video
showing callers what they will experience during the quitting process. The
site also allows users to schedule a Quitline call and recommend the cessation
service to their friends or family. The main campaign site,
www.tobaccofreeflorida.com, will be updated to include video journals that
follow a diverse group of tobacco users throughout their quest to stop using
tobacco, a smoking cost calculator, which determines the amount a tobacco user
can save if they quit and provide positive alternatives to spend money on
(i.e., gym membership), and Myth Mashers, a tool that dispels common
misconceptions which may lessen a tobacco users desire to quit.


Tobacco Free Florida, the statewide youth prevention and adult cessation
campaign launched in February 2008, has reached millions of Floridians through
its advertising, online social media, grassroots initiatives, educational
outreach and public relations efforts. Funded by the State’s tobacco
settlement fund, the campaign engages culturally and economically diverse
audiences with its high impact messaging.

For more information on Tobacco Free Florida, please visit

SOURCE Tobacco Free Florida

Source: newswire

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