Smokers often wait for special occasions like birthdays or New Year’s to quit, but most will relapse within a month. Studies show that it takes several attempts to stop smoking for good. The intervening weeks can be a crucial time for smokers as they grapple with the physical, emotional and financial costs of their habit.
Quit & Stay Quit Monday (QSQM) offers a more sustainable solution. Rather than wait for an annual event to try quitting, smokers can take advantage of 52 Mondays every year and the global support network that comes with them. There are many ways that smokers can use Monday as a day to quit, recommit to their quit, or quit again after a relapse:
Smokers can use Monday as a day for planning ahead. QSQM helps them plan for the upcoming week by anticipating triggers and cravings for cigarettes. Smokers can use Monday to celebrate progress. QSQM encourages them to look back on their previous week and use Monday as a day to reward themselves for staying quit.
Smokers can engage in their social support on Monday. QSQM encourages smokers to start their week by checking in with a cessation counselor or a “Quit Buddy” to support their progress.
QSQM also has many resources for cessation counselors. Cessation counselors can use Monday to boost engagement in any new or existing smoking cessation program by incorporating a variety of FREE QSQM resources:
- Cessation group counseling curriculum
- Workbook for cessation group participants
- Weekly tips and motivational messages via email and social media
- Creative materials for recruitment and engagement
- Implementation and evaluation guide
- QSQM microsite for participants to pledge to stay quit and plan for another smokefree week
Check out our quitting tools, tips and support for individuals, worksites, schools and communities on IQuitMonday.org. And sign-up for our weekly newsletter for individuals that can also be used by smoking cessation counselors as a group resource.
If you have any questions about implementing QSQM, please feel free to email our Public Health team directly at [email protected].
NCI Issues Healthy Monday Challenge to Help Smokers Quit and Stay Quit
The National Cancer Institute’s smokefree.gov website used the Monday idea to encourage people to pledge Mondays as the day to quit and supported them with weekly motivational messages on its website, Twitter and Facebook.
Three Rivers District Health Department
Serving the Kentucky counties of Carroll, Gallatin, Owen and Pendleton, Three Rivers used I Quit & Stay Quit Monday to help increase participant engagement in its existing tobacco cessation program.
Syracuse incorporated I Quit & Stay Quit Monday into its umbrella Healthy Monday Syracuse campaign. The campaign continues to spread the QSQM message to local healthcare providers, businesses and community cessation group participants, as well as share the Quit & Stay Quit Monday “Tip of the Week” with its online audiences via email, Facebook, and Twitter
Northern Kentucky University
In preparation to declare a smoke-free campus, NKU will launch the I Quit & Stay Quit Monday text messaging program for students, faculty and staff. The program will be used in conjunction with the university’s existing tobacco cessation program to help increase participant engagement.
Quit & Stay Quit Monday Research
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and jointly conducted by San Diego State University, The Santa Fe Institute, The Monday Campaigns and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that Monday is the day smokers are most likely to think about quitting. Key findings include:
• Monday quit smoking query volumes are 25% higher than all of the other days of the week.
• 8 million more quit smoking searches per year were conducted on Mondays versus other days of the week.
• Patterns were consistent in 6 languages (English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese) showing a global collective mindset
These results are bolstered by other research supporting the efficacy of Monday as a day for quitting.
• A 2014 survey by FGI showed that people view Monday, more than any other day of the week, as the preferred day to start a healthy behavior. The study specifically found that Monday is the most popular day to quit smoking.
• A 2006 Australian study showed more calls to quit lines at the beginning of the week. This information can be used to inform the placement of advertisements for quit lines and other marketing strategies for increasing call volume.
• An online poll of almost 7,000 people on The National Cancer Institute’s website smokefree.gov found that 53% of respondents indicated Monday was the best day to quit smoking.
To become a Quit & Stay Quit Monday pilot site, complete this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/62MPVN7
Please feel free to email our Public Health team directly about implementing Quit & Stay Quit Monday at [email protected].