Can You Have Coffee Without the Cigarette?

State Health Department Targets Smoking Triggers in Ad Campaign

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 15, 2008) -- The New York State Department of Health today announced the launch of a $2.7 million fall media campaign to motivate more smokers to quit in order to achieve the goal of 1 million fewer smokers in New York by 2010. The "Triggers" ad campaign focuses on daily behaviors or triggers that smokers associate with smoking so they can successfully re-learn daily activities without cigarettes.

"The addiction to tobacco is very powerful, and most smokers have to make several quit attempts before they succeed," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Knowing what triggers the urge to smoke is an important step to stopping. We want smokers to know that there is help available to overcome their addiction to smoking, and that the New York State Smokers' Quitline is available to help."

The "Trigger" ads will air on TV, radio, the Internet, and in print and outdoor advertising through Nov. 9. The campaign is based on the the American Legacy Foundation's "Become An EX®" media campaign. "Become An EX®" or "EX" is a public health campaign created by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (NATC), an alliance of national organizations and state health departments including New York. The EX® campaign helps change the way smokers think about the difficult process of quitting, and directs smokers to free resources to successfully quit.

The TV component of the campaign includes three 30-second ads. Each 30-second ad shows a smoker learning to deal with some part of daily life that can trigger the urge for a cigarette – drinking coffee, driving, or even just starting the day – without a cigarette.

Several bowling alleys throughout the state are offering free information this month about the "Become An EX®" program and the New York State Smokers' Quitline. The Transit Lanes in Buffalo, The Polish Falcon Lanes in Auburn, The Ballston Spa Lanes in Ballston Spa, and Mancuso's Bowling Center in Batavia are participating.

All the ads promote the New York State Smokers' Quitline, 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) and Web site, www.nysmokefree.com , where smokers can find free coaching and tips for quitting. Most smokers qualify for free starter kits of nicotine patches or gum.

For additional information about quitting smoking, please visit the state Health Department website at www.nyhealth.gov . For more information about the Become an Ex campaign visit www.becomeanex.org .