Bear River Health Department Launches New Anti-Tobacco Campaign
Date: 1-30-12 Anti-tobacco campaign featuring Nucor Steel employee.
(LOGAN, UT) – In an effort to support residents in quitting tobacco for the New Year, the Bear River Health Department is launching a campaign that focuses on local resident and former smoker, Bob Fairbanks.
The new campaign, which includes local billboard ads, pass-along cards, and banners, features Fairbanks standing in front of the Nucor Steel plant. The billboard reads, “Steelworker 38 Years. Smoke Free 17. To quit, call 1.800.QUIT.NOW.”
“More than 70 percent of Utah adult smokers reported that they wanted to quit, but without help, only about eight percent of users are able to do so,” said Holly Budge, Health Promotion Deputy Director, Bear River Health Department. “Featuring Bob in this campaign is a great way to get the word out on the dangers of tobacco use, as many residents can relate to him and his story, and it creates a local support system.”
Fairbanks smoked his first cigarette when he was just 13 years old and began smoking regularly at the age of 17. He kicked the habit for seven years during his first attempt at quitting, but soon he was back to smoking two packs a day.
In 1993 during a competitive racquetball tournament, Fairbanks noticed the toll smoking had taken on his body and knew he needed to quit. “Everyone knows it’s not good for you, but I physically didn’t have the wind to play anymore,” said Fairbanks.
One year after he quit smoking, a time at which he thought he was in the best shape of his life, Bob was diagnosed with severe pneumonia. He spent two weeks in the ICU and lost 20 pounds in three weeks. The doctors told him if he was still smoking he wouldn’t have survived.
“I know people talked about the health benefits to quitting, but I was still surprised that within weeks of quitting I could see my health improving,” said Fairbanks. “Breathing seemed more doable, my routine was simpler, and my life was more manageable. I really am glad I quit.”
For free help quitting tobacco, call the Utah Tobacco Quit Line at 1.800.QUIT.NOW or visit www.UtahQuitNet.com.
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