Every Monday Should be World No Tobacco Day

Johns Hopkins smoking cessation expert explains why


Newswise — NEW YORK -- On Thursday, May 31st, the World Health Organization hopes to spur the nearly one billion smokers worldwide to put down their cigarettes for World No Tobacco Day by highlighting the impacts cigarettes have on cardiovascular health.

This annual event generates much media attention and is a potential starting point for many quit attempts, but how can this effort be sustained to regularly  encourage smokers to stay quit after World No Tobacco Day concludes? Researchers say that one way to keep the momentum going after this once-a-year push to get smokers’ attention, is to use every Monday as a weekly opportunity to support them in their efforts to quit and stay quit.

An analysis of Google search patterns published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed a striking trend: at the beginning of every week, there is a surge in online searches for “quit smoking.”  This trend was consistent not only over the four years analyzed, but also across six languages, pointing to Monday as a potential global leverage point for communicating about quitting smoking.  In fact, there are approximately eight million more searches per year for “quit smoking” on Mondays compared to other days. 

Dr. Joanna Cohen, coauthor of the Google study and director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, sees potential in taking advantage of this “open to buy” mindset on Mondays.

“Quitting smoking can be a difficult process,” said Cohen.  “The seven million tobacco-caused deaths around the world each year are an outright tragedy, particularly because each of these deaths is completely preventable.  Far too many of us have lost loved ones to tobacco. Monday is like the New Year’s of the week, and can be used as a great cue to quit smoking, to help people stay quit.”

Dr. Cohen and her colleagues are working with The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing Monday as a good day to promote healthy behavior, and to develop tools for organizations and individuals to help people quit smoking. These resources, unified under the Quit and Stay Quit Monday campaign, aim to help people quit and stay quit on World No Tobacco Day and beyond.

Tobacco cessation professionals and smokers alike can subcribe to Quit & Stay Quit Monday’s newsletter which provides encouragement and evidence-based tips every Monday to help smokers quit and stay quit. If you are a tobacco cessation professional interested in incorporating Quit & Stay Quit Monday’s content into your cessation program, please contact Cori Floyd at cfloyd@mondaycampaigns.org

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About Quit and Stay Quit Monday and The Monday Campaigns

Quit & Stay Quit Monday is a program of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization working in association with The Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities. These programs dedicate the first day of every week to health, and support a global movement of individuals and organizations committed to public health and ending preventable diseases.

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