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Health department introduces quit smoking campaign

It all starts with the tobacco user. He or she has to want to quit in order to succeed. But also important is the support of a tobacco user's friends and family members. That's the basis for the Utah Department of Health's (UDOH) new "We Did It" campaign, launching on Oct. 15.

While the highly successful "I Did It" campaign specifically targeted smokers and featured success stories of ex-smokers from across Utah, the "We Did It" campaign will target the tobacco users and their friends, co-workers and families - underscoring the process of quitting smoking as being a communal effort. That message is relayed through all media, which includes TV, radio, billboards and a new Web site,

"Having social support for a quit attempt makes a person 50 percent more likely to succeed," said Lena Dibble, media coordinator, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, UDOH. "This is the first time we have tailored our message to non-tobacco users � we're doing so because we know how integral they are to the process of quitting tobacco. We are confident the campaign will be useful to both parties."

All media in the campaign promotes the web site, While has already served as a direct resource for tobacco users, educates people close to tobacco users on how best to be supportive through the quitting process. The website offers practical guidance and tips to help loved ones quit, and make homes and businesses smoke free, as well as success stories, and information on tobacco trends in Utah. Tips on the website include informing employees of any cessation benefits available through one's company health plan, planning activities that avoid the temptation to smoke, and approaching leaders of local events or venues (i.e. rodeos, sports parks, fairs) to see if they might consider going smoke-free.

Each of the four 30-second advertisements for TV illustrates a quit tip provided on One spot, for example, shows a man driving looking agitated, as though he is having a nicotine craving. His daughter in the back seat hands him a stick of gum. The first segment of the commercial is shown from the man's perspective, followed by information about the Utah Tobacco Quit Line. The second half of the spot portrays the scene from the daughter's point of view, followed by a tagline promoting the web site. The dual perspectives are intended to bridge the gap between tobacco users and non-users.

Additionally, four radio spots will present both user and non-user perspectives in monologues. Pairing the quit line and as resources reinforces the concept that sharing responsibility between both users and non-users is the best way to ensure quitting tobacco.

"We hope these resources are used to let tobacco users know that they are not alone in their quit attempts," Dibble said. "Tobacco use affects everyone � that means everyone has a role in making Utah tobacco free."

For more information about the statewide tobacco prevention effort and to read the 2007 annual report, please visit

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