The HSE today begins broadcast of a new QUIT campaign television advert and online film that exposes the sad reality of losing a loved one to a tobacco related disease. Since its launch in June of this year, the QUIT campaign has been focusing on one key fact – that 1 in every 2 smokers will die of a tobacco related disease. This new phase of the campaign uses real people to bring that fact to life, in the words of those left behind.
Pauline Bell from Wexford is a mother of two. Three years ago her husband George died from a heart attack at 48 years of age. George was a heavy smoker. Pauline has volunteered to tell her and George’s story as part of the QUIT campaign. She talks about what a great husband he was, how ‘he loved his cigarettes, but never thought that at 48, that would be his time to go’, and how she, her children and their family has been affected by his loss. She hopes to inspire others to quit – for their own health, and to prevent other families experiencing what they have been through.
Dr. Fenton Howell from the HSE outlines why the HSE has taken this approach to the QUIT campaign: ‘Evidence from all over the world has shown the impact that real-life, personal stories, like Pauline and George’s, can have on smokers’ drive to quit. We spoke in detail to Irish smokers before we started this campaign, and they told us that this ‘1 in every 2’ statistic was powerful, and that using real-life stories to illustrate it would motivate them to stop smoking. We’re very grateful to Pauline and her family, and all the other people who are bringing this campaign to life by telling their stories – they are central to the meaning and success of this campaign.’
The new tv ad and the 3 minute short film of Pauline’s story can be viewed on HSE.ie and facebook.com/HSEquit.
Results to date for the QUIT campaign show that the 1 in every 2 statistic has hit home with smokers in Ireland, with many choosing to get help and support for their Quit attempt online and in person. Over 5,000 people have signed up for online QUITplans since the campaign started in June, nearly a 300% increase on the same period in 2010. Visits to www.QUIT.ie have increased 170%, and calls to the National Smokers’ Quitline 1850 201 203 and referrals to our Smoking Cessation Clinics increased by 50% compared to last year. The HSE’s You can QUIT Facebook page was created for this campaign, and has over 13,500 Likes to day, with many of them choosing to share their experiences and seek support from each other.
Fenton Howell welcomed these positive results, but said that ‘there are about 1 million smokers in Ireland and unfortunately, 1 in every 2 of those smokers will die of a tobacco related disease. Look around you – we all know someone who will be affected by a tobacco related illness. Our campaign is helping people to try to quit, and ultimately aims to save lives’.
‘Quitters can double their chance of success if they use supports such as the QUIT.ie website, the National Smokers’ Quitline 1850 201 203, medications or free HSE Smoking Cessation Clinics. ‘I would encourage those who are thinking about quitting, or are currently in the process of quitting, to get some support. There are 1 million former smokers in Ireland and in all my years working in this area, I have never met anyone who regretted quitting.’
Dr. Fenton Howell concluded: ‘You can QUIT, it’s never too late to try, or try again. Check out our QUIT.ie website, call the Quitline, join a smoking cessation course, visit your GP or pharmacist, talk to your dentist or join us on Facebook – the help will help.’
If you want help to QUIT smoking:
Call the National Smokers’ Quitline 1850 201 203
Contact your local HSE smoking cessation counsellor
Talk to your GP, Pharmacist or DentistTags: