WASHINGTON: The American Cancer Society (ACS) is ramping up communications out- reach surrounding the upcoming 31st annual Great American Smokeout on November 15.
With Minnesota recently becoming the 25th state to put an anti-smoking law on its books, the organization is basing this year's event around the theme "There's never been a better time to quit," said Amy Swygert, MD for strategic communications planning.
As part of its efforts, the ACS has partnered with a number of companies - including Chevron, GM, JPMorgan Chase, and Walgreens - to distribute its materials among employees who might need assistance quitting.
The organization is also using the event's Web site, www.cancer.org/greatamericans, to provide materials. Included is a guide to quitting smoking, reasons to give up, a calendar to help people plan their quitting day, and a sign-up to have someone from their "quitline" contact those interested.
"We have resources like our quitline and we refer people to other resources in their community that help them quit," said Swygert. "Helping people find these resources is part of what we're promoting through PR."
Swygert said the organization is doing all communications work for the event in-house. Novartis sponsors the event as well, providing the organization's materials to its retailers and underwriting the ACS' ad buy the week leading up to the event.
On the day itself, Swygert said her team will spend time talking with the press and forgo a standard press conference.