The American Lung Association (ALA) has an extensive stop-smoking campaign,
including resources on quitting for individuals and employers. Their Lung
HelpLine offers smokers the chance to talk with a nurse or respiratory
therapist about all aspects of lung health. They also sponsor "Not on Tobacco"
and "Freedom From Smoking," two tobacco support programs.
"Not on Tobacco" targets teens and aims to educate youth about the dangers
of smoking to keep teens from starting the habit in the first place. "Freedom
From Smoking" is a smoking cessation program that specifically targets adults.
Smokers can try the program for free, but there is a cost for premium membership.
The program prepares smokers to set a quit date and helps them follow through
with quitting and coping with a cigarette-free life.
FOR A SMOKEFREE AMERICA
The grandson of tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds founded the Foundation
for a Smokefree America after seeing so many of his family members
battle smoking-related illnesses. Patrick Reynolds sold off his
stock in the tobacco company to launch the foundation in 1989.
Since then, he's spoken at middle schools, high schools and
universities, and he's even testified before Congress about
the dangers of tobacco use. The nonprofit's mission is to "motivate
youth to stay tobacco free, and to empower smokers to quit successfully."
The foundation works to educate current and potential smokers,
as well as physicians and policymakers, about the dangers of
smoking and smoking cessation techniques. They've also worked
on media campaigns, like public service announcements starring
celebrities aimed at preventing teens from picking up smoking.
The foundation even produced an educational video targeting sixth
through 12th graders called "The Truth About Tobacco."
While it's not directly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous,
Nicotine Anonymous applies that same 12-step approach to quitting
smoking. It's not a religious or government organization, and it's
free to join and attend meetings. Nicotine Anonymous holds
in-person meetings, as well as Internet and telephone meetings,
to help support smokers who want to quit. Via the group's online
search tool, smokers can find meetings in 46 states and in
Washington D.C., as well as 38 other countries. If there isn't
a meeting in your area, the organization also offers a "Meetings
Starter Kit" for smokers who want to start a Nicotine Anonymous
meeting in their area.
The online community QuitNet centers on the idea that it's easier to quit
smoking with social support. Started in 1995 by a Boston physician, it's
now run by Healthways, a for-profit company. It's free to join the
community, though they do offer a premium membership for around $10
per month that includes one-on-one counseling, an expanded "Quitting
Guide," medication recommendations, and milestone trophies.
The basic program is similar to the EX campaign: You choose a quit
date and get support from the site. What makes QuitNet different is
that it focuses on community. There's an online forum where you can
meet fellow quitters, and you can add "buddies" for additional support.
It's also more medication focused. Even basic members have access to
the medication guide, which provides information about some of the
nicotine replacement options (like the patch) and prescription
medications (like Wellbutrin) that can sometimes help a smoker
transition off of cigarettes.