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Public Health Success Stories 2012

I wish everyone a happy & healthy 2013! I hope it will be a year filled with exciting adventures, time to develop new & maintain old friendships, joyful moments with loved ones, opportunities to think & create, and to live.

Last night I engaged with my family in the German tradition “Bleigießen”. I poured hot tin in a bowl of cold water and interpreted the little figure as pipe, which stands for joyful living. After I read an article by Reuters, I am also positive that the health of U.S. residents will have a good new year ahead. Most identified trends affect directly our health or indirectly through affecting social determinants of our health:

Child obesity decreases modestly according to the CDC and smoking rates continue to drop. Among adults smoked 19% in 2011 as compared to 19.3% in 2010 and four out of five teenagers do not smoke.

Drinking and Driving decreased by 51% among teenagers since 1991. Mostly because of minimum drinking age of 21, zero tolerance laws, graduated drivers’ license systems, and improved parental monitoring.

Four-year college education reached the highest level in Americans with 30%. This is important because lifetime earnings of a person with a college associate’s degree will be $442,000 more than that of a high school graduate.

Ex-Smokers are unstoppable

The campaign of the European Commission emphasizes the accomplishment to quit smoking and offers smokers free help to stop through an i-coach. The i-coach is a free online health coach that considers in what quitting stage a smoker is at, based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, e.g. not ready to quit smoking, thinking about quitting, close to quit smoking, just quit smoking…

The online tool is available in 23 official EU languages and provides tailored feedback and support on the way to become a non-smoker.


European Ex-Smokers Books


Never Give Up Giving Up

This is the first non scare campaign for smoking. I think it works because it’s relatable - As an ex “social smoker” I could laugh at a few of the scenarios featured in the ad because I’ve been there myself! This campaign recognises that it’s hard to quit and that you wont get it right the first time with the main message of: “every time you quit, you get a little better at it”. What do you think - will this type of approach work better than the traditional scare campaigns?