Maine Launches New Tobacco Quitting Campaign
The QuitLink is a support network designed to improve quitting success
April 14, 2011
The Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine, in collaboration with Healthy Community Coalition, has launched new resources to help people quit tobacco. The QuitLink is an online community at http://thequitlink.org/ dedicated to supporting people who are attempting to quit, have recently quit, or are helping someone go through the process of quitting.
“We know that 70 percent of smokers have expressed the desire to quit smoking. In Maine, that means more than 100,000 people. Some may have already attempted and failed, and others may not even know where to begin,” said Nicole Ditata, district tobacco coordinator. “The purpose of The QuitLink is to provide people with a place to turn—a support network that is designed to improve quitting success.”
In 2008, 18 percent of adults in Maine reported being smokers. New research has indicated that quitting smoking, as with other health concerns, is directly linked to the social networks that an individual is a part of. The desire to quit using tobacco and the success at which that is accomplished happens in groups, whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or online communities. By creating a virtual support network, The QuitLink seeks to take advantage of this principle and the relationships of the tobacco user.
The new Quit Link media campaign showcases television and radio messages that depict real-life tobacco users. The current QuitLink television message features Dickie Aubie from Windham, and Kevin Jarvais from Skowhegan, and their “network” of supporters.
The QuitLink Web site provides links to local resources, extensive information about the Maine Tobacco HelpLine, and other tools to ensure quitting success. The Web site also serves as a gateway to the social networking components: Twitter and Facebook.
The QuitLink Facebook page serves as the online community feature and provides the ability to share stories and receive feedback from other community members. The Twitter page will be updated with daily positive reinforcement, messages, and encouragement. Both social networking sites will direct followers to the HelpLine and to The QuitLink website.
Ditata added, “The advantage of The QuitLink is that once those wishing to quit have succeeded, they will then become ambassadors for the campaign and the resources affiliated with it, helping us reach current smokers through the power of the social networking.”
This program is sponsored by Healthy Community Coalition, our region’s Healthy Maine Partnership. For more information please call Ditata at 779-2932.
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