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Resolving to Quit Smoking in 2010? Make A Plan Now to Be Tobacco Free
Quit For Life® Program Enrollment Historically Climbs More Than 40% in First Week of New Year

Seattle 2009/12/09 -Anyone planning to add “quit smoking” or “quit smokeless tobacco” to a 2010 New Year’s resolution list should start planning now if he or she wants to be tobacco free on Jan. 1, according to the American Cancer Society and Free & Clear.

“We have found that smokers benefit the most by making a plan to quit and setting their quit day 10 days to two weeks out so they can prepare to become tobacco free,” said Ken Wassum, former president of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) and Senior Product Manager at Free & Clear. “Now is the time for smokers to call a tobacco coaching service to map out a personal plan for quitting so they can set Jan. 1 as their quit date.”


Setting a quit date two weeks in advance allows a smoker time to obtain quit medication, such as nicotine patches, gum and lozenges, if they are planning to use those recommended aids. It also allows a smoker time to seek advice from a Quit Coach® to help prepare for his or her quit date and then stay quit once New Year’s Day has come and gone.


Choosing your quit date – whether or not it is Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 – varies by individual lifestyles. “Some people find that Monday is best, because they have the structure of work to keep their mind off of smoking. Others find a weekend day preferable, because they don’t have the stress of work,” Wassum added.


The American Cancer Society and Free & Clear recommend taking these steps to prepare for quitting on Jan. 1 or another date during the New Year:


  • Decide on a quit date. About two weeks prior to your planned quit date, call 1.866.Quit.4.Life (1.866.784.8454) and enroll in the American Cancer Society Quit For Life® Program operated by Free & Clear. A trained Quit Coach will help you prepare to quit and stay quit, and will help you make a decision about using medication during the process, like patches, gum, lozenges, bupropion or varenicline (Chantix). In many cases, the medications may be at no cost to you.
  • About one week before your quit date, identify where and when you smoke and test strategies, such as taking a different route to work, to break up daily habits. Also try to replace cigarettes with other substitutes, such as a water bottle, toothpicks or carrot sticks.
  • The night before your quit date, clear away all cigarettes and other smoking paraphernalia, including cleaning out the ashtray in your car. Removing all visual reminders will take away opportunities to easily relapse.


When you quit smoking, you can add up to eight years to your life, and you immediately reduce your risk of getting cancer and other diseases. Even within 20 minutes of quitting, your body experiences health improvements.


Resolving to quit smoking ranks high on most all top resolution lists, and Free & Clear consistently has seen enrollments increase significantly at the first of the year. Program enrollments in the first seven days of 2005 to 2009 have averaged a 41.6 percent increase from any weekly average throughout that five-year period. In 2008 alone, the increase in enrollments from Jan. 1 through Jan. 7 was 84.5 percent when compared to the average week that year.


To find out more about the Quit For Life® Program, visit www.freeclear.com/quit-for-life or www.quitnow.net.



About Free & Clear


Free & Clear, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Alere LLC (www.alere.com) and its parent company, Inverness Medical Innovations (NYSE: IMA) (www.invernessmedical.com), specializes in phone‐based cognitive behavioral coaching and Web‐based learning to help employers, health plans and government agencies measurably improve the overall health and productivity of their workforces. Free & Clear’s evidence‐based programs address modifiable health risks that contribute to chronic disease: tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and stress. More than 70 million people have access to the Quit For Life® Program, the nation’s leading tobacco cessation program, which has had its proof of effectiveness published in multiple peer‐reviewed, scientific journals during the course of 25 years. The Mind & Body® Program has been developed by nationally recognized experts and is based on the most up‐to‐date, clinically proven science available on weight management and obesity prevention. Free & Clear is based in Seattle, Wash. More information about Free & Clear is available at www.freeclear.com.


About the American Cancer Society


The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non‐governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1‐800‐227‐2345 or visit www.cancer.org.




Becky Erwin

National Director, Media Relations

American Cancer Society