News Release
   
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   April 4, 2001

Christine Grant
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Chris Gage
(609) 984-7160

 

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Spreads the Word About Free Smoking Cessation Programs


Trenton, April 4, 2001 - The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services announced today that it has chosen Autowraps, Inc. to help spread the word to state residents about two free smoking cessation services, New Jersey QuitnetTM and Quitline. During the March to June program, 50 state residents are "wrapping" their own cars with a high-quality vinyl adhesive material bearing advertising for the New Jersey cessation programs, the program logos and contact information.

"This free smoking cessation program represents good news for New Jersey smokers who want to quit smoking," said Acting Governor DiFrancesco. "It's so important that the actual flow of money from the national tobacco settlement fund these types of anti-tobacco initiatives as part of New Jersey's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program - whether it's preventing our young people from actually starting smoking to helping people stop once they've started."

All program participants, who each receive a stipend, are required to drive VW Bugs and be non-smokers. Participants were also selected based on their driving frequency, and are encouraged to drive highly trafficked locations, near schools, hospitals and recreation areas. The participants range in age from 20-63 and are geographically dispersed throughout New Jersey. In addition to the high visibility that personal vehicles get, these cars can go places that no other medium can reach.

"Using Autowraps to advertise New Jersey Quitline and New Jersey Quitnet is part of our conscious effort to choose innovative, non-traditional advertising that makes a strong impact, " said DHSS Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Christine Grant. "We are trying to reach people outdoors at the point that they might be smoking--on the street or in their cars. Our research found that 69% of New Jersey tobacco users who have "not yet" tried quitting tobacco indicated that they would like to quit. We want them to know that help is available."

The auto-wrapped VW Bugs can be seen throughout New Jersey's roads and highways from March to June. Capitalizing on the increased time that consumers are spending in their cars, auto wrapping is a reliable, cost-effective outdoor advertising option. They have a high retention rate due to their novelty and conspicuous location.

"As a smoker 25 year ago, I had a Camel ad on my VW Bug. I knew that smoking wasn't a good thing, but I wasn't concerned about driving around with an advertisement for cigarettes, since not as much was known about the dangers of smoking," said Joanne Blazure of Lebanon, NJ. "Today I am a non-smoker and am thrilled with the increase presence of anti-smoking messages in the media. I'm especially proud to drive my new VW Bug and promote New Jersey Quitnet and New Jersey Quitline services."

New Jersey Quitnet, Quitline and Quit Centers

New Jersey Quitnet and New Jersey Quitline are free smoking cessation services, available to all New Jersey residents. New Jersey Quitnet (www.nj.quitnet.com) is an online resource that provides a comprehensive, individually tailored smoking cessation plan. New Jersey Quitnet's online community provides peer support groups and access to trained counselors. Registered New Jersey Quitnet users can access resources such as Quitting Guides to help plan a quitting strategy, referrals to local programs and information about medications that can help end the addiction.

New Jersey Quitline is a hotline offering personal counseling to New Jersey residents at 1-866 NJ-STOPS (1-866-657-8677) six days a week. New Jersey Quitline can be accessed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Trained counselors are available in 26 languages to work with callers to develop comprehensive treatment plans that meet the individual's needs. The services are open to all age groups.

There are also one-on-one counseling sites at nine locations in New Jersey. The program will expand to fifteen sites by the end of June, providing all New Jerseyans access to face-to-face counseling.

Advertising for the three cessation programs appear on local radio spots, billboards, newspapers, coffee sleeves, bar coasters and matchbooks in bars throughout New Jersey.

New Jersey Quitline, New Jersey Quitnet and New Jersey QuitCenters are among the many initiatives sponsored by the Department of Health and Senior Services and funded with money from the 1998 Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry. New Jersey is one of only 15 states, which are directing a substantial portion of these funds -- $30 million in the first three years of the program - toward smoking prevention and cessation. New Jersey's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program is designed to reduce the sickness, disability and death among New Jerseyans associated with the use of tobacco and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

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