Pima County Develops Smoking Cessation Program With a Monday Focus

It takes a smoker an average of 30 attempts before they manage to quit cigarettes for more than a year, which is why it’s critical that smoking cessation programs emphasize the fact that every “failure” is just another necessary step towards a successful quit.

And that’s why Pima County, Arizona, the state’s second most populous county and home to over one million residents, collaborated with Quit & Stay Quit Monday, a concept of The Monday Campaigns, to help individuals recommit to their quit every Monday.

Pima County is a unique story because of the demographic makeup of its population. With a relatively high percentage of Native American and Spanish-speaking Americans. To reach this audience, the Pima County Health Department (PHCD) tasked Quit and Stay Quit Monday to provide 12-weeks of specialized smoking cessation materials to direct smokers and nicotine users to the PCHD referral number and website.

Since the age range of this group skewed a little younger (18 – 25), program leaders relied on some unconventional communication channels such as Facebook and Twitter to disseminate a collection of informational articles, actionable practices, and illustrated graphics. The PCHD also circulated information via their department webpage as well as through their weekly newsletter.

Local television coverage by ABC Tucson raised the awareness of the initiative and promoted the usage of the QSQM Check-In, a tool to help identify triggers, find a support team, and face cravings. To support the spike in media attention, physical locations were set up at five locations to address particularly high-risk populations.

Overall, Facebook metrics showed that Spanish QSQM messaging was viewed just as much as the English messaging, implying that social media is an effective way to reach high-priority populations. Preliminary data suggests that the PHCD quitline also saw a spike in usage as a result of the partnership.