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Richmond, Va., smokers get support from 'Quitter in You' smoking-cessation campaign


RICHMOND, Va. — The American Lung Association in Virginia and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield are supporting smokers in Richmond, Va., in their efforts to quit for good through the “Quitter in You” smoking-cessation campaign, the companies announced Friday. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield awarded the American Lung Association in Virginia $72,000 as part of a total $1.5 million donation to the American Lung Association by Anthem’s parent company in support of the program.

An ALA survey revealed that many smokers are unsuccessful on their first attempt to quit smoking. The "Quitter in You" campaign aims to empower people trying to quit smoking by acknowledging that past quit attempts are not failures, but are normal and necessary steps along the way to quitting for good. A survey from the American Lung Association found that 6-out-of-10 former smokers were not able to successfully quit on their first try and required multiple attempts to quit smoking for good.

“We want smokers to think about their past quit attempts as practice for the time that they will quit for good. Anyone can quit smoking and the American Lung Association has a number of resources available to help people quit,” said Dennis Alexander, regional executive director of the American Lung Association in Virginia.

"Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it's not easy. Studies show it typically takes several attempts before most smokers quit for good, so it's important that a person not give up," said Jay Schukman, M.D., Anthem’s chief medical director. "The American Lung Association's 'Quitter in You' smoking cessation initiative helps educate and empower people trying to quit smoking, bringing them one step closer to success."

More than 1.5 million people in Virginia, 20.8% of the state population, smoke according to 2011 data. The “Quitter in You” campaign aims to change the way people think about past quit attempts and motivate them to try again. A quit attempt is defined as not smoking for at least one day with the intent of not starting again.

The “Quitter in You” campaign features a web site at, radio and Out-of-Home public service announcements, and a wealth of personalized tools and support from the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA), Freedom From Smoking Online and Freedom From Smoking in-person clinic. The campaign is focused in 14 target markets, including Richmond, Va.

The “Quitter in You” campaign also is reaching Spanish-speaking communities with a Spanish-language website (, radio public service announcements, Freedom From Smoking cessation resources, as well counseling and one-on-one support from Spanish-speaking registered nurses, respiratory therapists and trained smoking-cessation counselors through the Lung Helpline (1-800-LUNG-USA).

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