Seven Utah tobacco users will share the ups and down of kicking the habit as part of the Utah Department of Health's (UDOH) new reality campaign, "Be a Quitter."
Campaign participants range in age from 21 to 61 and will use social media and video to share their quit experience with Utahns.
"We know it isn't easy to quit tobacco, and we're very proud of this group for sharing their stories to help inspire others," said Janae Duncan, Program Coordinator, UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. "Not only do the participants believe that being part of this campaign will give them the extra support they need to quit, they also feel that sharing their story will inspire others who may be trying to quit tobacco."
The campaign participants, who have used tobacco for periods ranging from five to 40 years, will open their lives to the public by sharing the effects - both good and bad - that quitting has had on them and their families and friends. Topics may include how many cigarettes they did or did not smoke that day, urges to smoke or chew, how they combat their cravings, and the effect their changes in lifestyle are having on their relationships.
"We wanted to use real people for this campaign because we wanted to show smokers everywhere that while it's difficult, you're not alone," said Duncan. "There will be trials and hurdles, but you should never give up."
The campaign targets the more 200,000 Utah adults who currently smoke. Participants include Chelsea Kessler, 22, Park City; Scarlett Hartwell, 61, Ogden; Gavin Hoffman, 35, Salt Lake City; Tanner Cormack, 21, Tooele; Kathy Ott, Salt Lake City; and Mary Beth Stover, 52 and her husband Bob Stover, 51, North Salt Lake.
To learn more about the participants and see the video trailer, visit www.beaquitterutah.com.
Free resources are always available for people who want to quit tobacco. For help, call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.UtahQuitNet.com.