Assistance programs team to promote ‘Healthy Monday,’ weekly effort to quit smoking

12/22/2008

NEW YORK If it takes an average of between seven and 10 times before an addicted smoker can successfully kick their smoking habit—why not make an attempt at quitting at the top of each week?

At least that’s the thinking behind the Healthy Monday initiative, a project sponsored by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications.

“We know there’s a high relapse rate for first-time quitters and that it takes a number of attempts for most people to stop smoking altogether,” said Frances Stillman, who co-directs the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Using each Monday to reaffirm their goal of quitting is a sensible way to stay on track.”

“We urge smokers to think about it realistically and use the start of each week to recommit to breaking their addiction,” added Sid Lerner, chairman of the Healthy Monday Campaign. “If you just try once a year on your birthday or New Years, those ‘tries’ can add up to a decade before you finally quit, but if you try every Monday, and keep at it, chances are good you may succeed within a single year.”

“We think of Monday as the January of the week,” said Healthy Monday president Peggy Neu. “Our research indicates that people view Monday as an opportunity for a fresh start and are more likely to start a healthy regimen on Monday than any other day.”

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