How To Become An Ex Smoker

December 2017

Community Health

Country of origin: USA

A new public health campaign created by an alliance of national organisations and state health agencies was launched recently. The programme, called EX, aims to change the way smokers think about the difficult process of quitting, and guide them to valuable free resources to build a successful quit attempt.

The programme offers smokers a new website, www.BecomeAnEX.org, which features action-oriented tools and information to help smokers prepare for quitting by developing a personalised plan, as well as a virtual community, where smokers can share stories and best practices about their quit attempt.

The website was designed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and with input from former and current smokers who have lived with this struggle, in order to provide smokers with a realistic approach based on evidence based research.

The BecomeAnEX.org website brings the "re-learn" idea to life, offering action-oriented content and videos to help smokers re-learn all aspects of their smoking addiction. The site helps users develop a personalised quit plan that includes medication and support, plus it gives them an opportunity to practice breaking the "glue" between cigarettes and their associated triggers, before they actually stop smoking. Those visiting the site will be able to:

 Create customised quit plans - including selecting a quit date, determining their own smoking "triggers" and developing a programme that best suits their individual needs. By helping smokers gain a holistic understanding of their smoking behaviour, the EX website will help smokers be better prepared for the difficulties that may lie ahead after throwing away that last pack.
 Connect to a virtual support group that allows those who are trying to quit share their experiences and challenges. Social support is a significant factor in helping smokers quit successfully.
 Learn more about pharmacotherapy resources, such as nicotine replacement patches, lozenges, gum and prescription medications. These products can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings during the short term, and allow smokers to deal with the behaviour changes needed to make sure they stay off cigarettes for good.
 Link to quit-smoking resources in Alliance states.

Founding members of the NATC include the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the American Legacy Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and clinical partner, the Mayo Clinic.

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