Department of Health Unveils New DC Quit Line Media Campaign Featuring NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green

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Darrell Green, Caron Butler, Nakia Sanford, Mambo Sauce and Justine Love Urge DC Residents to Live Tobacco Free Lives in New Campaign

Tobacco use is the nation's leading cause of preventable death, and it does not have to be; we can change this

Today the DC Tobacco Free Families Campaign (DCTFF) unveiled its new quit line media campaign starring former Washington Redskin and NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green. The new campaign includes television, radio, metro and print ads that also feature DC's own go-go band, Mambo Sauce; Nakia Sanford of the Washington Mystics; Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards; and WPGC radio personality, Justine Love. DCTFF is committed to ensuring that all DC residents who smoke have access to the latest evidence-based smoking cessation treatments to ensure long-term success at remaining tobacco free.

The program offers DC residents access to free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and counseling through 1-800-Quit-Now services and community-based programs.

The two PSAs feature Darrell Green educating residents about the 250 deadly poisons contained in tobacco smoke and encouraging smokers to call the quit line to receive free counseling and NRT to improve their chances of quitting for good. Some of the deadly poisons highlighted in the PSA are ammonia, arsenic, cyanide, and carbon monoxide, all of which are found in tobacco smoke.

In addition to the PSAs, once a month Green will return calls from actual 1-800-Quit-Now callers to encourage and support them on their quest to become smoke free. Green and his family have been personally affected by the tragedy of tobacco use when he lost his father-in-law to lung cancer due to smoking.

"My family suffered when my father-in-law died from lung cancer due to smoking," said Darrell Green. "If you are smoking at home or in the car around your family, your loved ones are breathing the same poisons as you. I want to do what I can so my families' tragedy doesn't become yours too."

DC has some of the highest rates of tobacco-related cancers and heart disease in the United States. More than 700 DC residents die each year from tobacco use; it continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the District of Columbia and the nation. The goal of the campaign is to reduce and ultimately eliminate tobacco use in DC through education, free tobacco cessation services and youth led tobacco prevention programs. Funding has been provided by a generous grant from the DC government to offer these free programs and services, including free nicotine patches and lozenges to DC residents.

"Tobacco use is the nation's leading cause of preventable death, and it does not have to be; we can change this," said Dr. Pierre N.D. Vigilance, Director of the DC Department of Health. "In order to do that, we have to be willing to change ourselves. The DC Department of Health is happy to join our partners here in the District along with our colleagues in public health practices across the country as we unite to help smokers quit. It takes a great deal of determination, will power as it may be more than one or two attempts before a smoker finally quits. This collaborative program provides smokers with some of the tools they will need to kick the habit."

Recently, Green was among six players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 2, 2008. The cornerback played his entire 20 year career with the Redskins through 2002, earning seven Pro Bowl selections. The 48-year-old had 54 career interceptions, returning for six touchdowns. He holds the NFL record with 19 straight years with an interception.

According to Justine Love, WPGC radio personality who recently quit by calling 1- 800-Quit-Now, "I never thought I could actually quit--I've tried four times before and it just seemed too hard. But getting help made all the difference; and it made my daughter very happy. I do want to encourage smokers to call the quit line--it was one of the best decisions I have made."

Current spokespersons for the DCTFF campaign also include Washington Wizards guard, Caron Butler; Nakia Sanford, Washington Mystics Center; DC's own Mambo Sauce and Justine Love of WPGC 95.5 FM

About DC Tobacco Free Families (DCTFF):
DCTFF is a partnership of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association of DC, and the DC Department of Health. For more information please log onto http://www.dctff.org.

About American Lung Association of DC:
The mission of the American Lung Association® is to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. The American Lung Association® is the oldest voluntary health organization in the United States, with a National Office and constituent and affiliate associations around the country. Founded in 1904 to fight tuberculosis, the American Lung Association® today fights lung disease in all its forms, with special emphasis on asthma, tobacco control and environmental health. The American Lung Association® is funded by contributions from the public, along with gifts and grants from corporations, foundations and government agencies. The American Lung Association® achieves its many successes through the work of thousands of committed volunteers and staff.

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