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July 2015

Celebrate Freedom From Addiction

Celebrate the Quitters

Age Group: Adults
Resources: Partnership with local newspaper
Community Indicator: Promote tobacco cessation services

A couple of weeks prior to July 4th, work with local newspaper to ask community members to send their names and the number of years they’ve been tobacco-free. Keep a list of those people. The week of July 4th, publish those names in the local newspaper, along with a congratulatory message. Ask the paper to write an article highlighting one of the quitters. Include information on cessation services available in your community.

"Float" by Tobacco Use

Age Group: Adults
Resources: Float materials, gum, and cessation materials
Community Indicator: Promote tobacco cessation services

Sponsor a float in a community parade with the theme "Celebrating Freedom from Addiction." Staff the float with adults or youth who have quit smoking. Create t-shirts that say, "I’ve quit smoking. Ask me how." or "Quit Yet?." These messages also could be used on balloons. Gum can be distributed from the float. Adults who walk along the float can pass out cessation literature or cards or stickers, which you can make using templates provided on the American Cancer Society's Web site at Pitch the media with the story, including testimonial interviews with smokers who have quit and cessation services available in your community.

Tobacco-Free Picnic (youth-focused event)

Age Group: Youth
Resources: Paints, markers, food for picnic, prizes
Community Indicator: Prevent youth initiation, reduce tobacco industry influence

The week of July 4th, host a tobacco-free picnic with music and games. Hang a large mural and ask the youth to put their handprints on it using water-soluble paint. Under their handprints, ask them to print their names and the reasons they chose to be smoke free. Invite the media to watch as the youth participate in this event. Prepare youth beforehand by giving them recent statistics on youth tobacco use rates in their states and the amount that the tobacco industry spends on advertising and marketing their products in their states. (Check out Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for great info on this topic.)

"Roast" Big Tobacco

Age Group: Youth
Resources: Marshmallows, sticks, prizes for gear exchange
Community Indicator: Reduce tobacco industry influence

In addition to having music and fun at a picnic, hold a gear exchange. Set up a booth where youth can exchange their tobacco "gear" for something that is fun and health-related. Under the supervision of an adult and with any necessary permits, start a bonfire, burning the tobacco merchandise, tobacco ads, and gear turned in. Roast marshmallows at the bonfire. Take pictures of youth "roasting" Big Tobacco. (This is a great photo opportunity for the local newspaper.)

Other ideas

  • Work with a local tobacco retailer ahead of time to encourage the removal of tobacco advertising from the store.
    • Conduct a news conference at the picnic where the retailer will receive an "Outstanding Community Member Award."
    • Ask the retailer to challenge other retailers to do the same.
  • Check to see if your county fair accepts tobacco industry sponsorships. If it does—
    • Have youth sign a petition at the picnic asking county officials not to accept this sponsorship
    • Conduct a news conference at the picnic asking officials to refuse tobacco sponsorship with the theme "Say No to Big Tobacco. Our Kids Are Counting on Us"
  • Get and suggest other ideas for youth at the Kick Butts Day Web site.


Campaigns and Multimedia

  • You Can Quit. Learn more…
  • Ready to quit smoking? Make sure you have what it takes.
  • CDC 24/7 – Saving Lives, Protecting People, Saving Money. Learn More About How CDC Works For You…