A new campaign, Quit & Stay Quit Monday, offers free tools to help smokers make a weekly recommitment to their goal of going cigarette-free in 2013. The campaign’s Quit Line counselors, online forums and Monday motivator messages, which can be sent through email, SMS or social media, provides smokers with the extra boost they need to stay smoke-free.

Employers can join in by promoting their smoking cessation programs every Monday and making use of the campaign’s materials.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 percent of American smokers would like to kick the habit. Even so, the majority of those who resolve to quit as a New Year’s resolution will be back to the pack by Groundhog Day. It can take from eight to 11 attempts to stop smoking for good, with the average quit attempt lasting just 8 days before relapse.

Mondays Provide a Fresh Start

Instead of waiting for big annual events – like birthdays or New Year’s – experts recommend that smokers recommit to their quit every Monday. Mondays are a natural opportunity to engage smokers and reduce their likelihood of relapse. It’s the January of the week, the day that smokers are looking for help.

“Research shows that Monday is the day people are open to starting healthy behaviors, so it’s a good day to quit, celebrate success, and recover from relapses,” said Joanna Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death, so encouraging additional quit attempts has the potential to save lives.”

The Quit & Stay Quit Monday campaign has developed free tools and social media resources to help smokers quit leading up to New Year’s and stay quit every Monday thereafter. Individuals can join the quit community on Facebook and Twitter, while quit service providers can receive free promotional posters and weekly tips for distribution.

Quit & Stay Quit Monday founder Sid Lerner hopes that these weekly materials will lead to more frequent cessation messaging and higher quit rates in 2013.

“Smoke cessation shouldn’t be an annual all-or-nothing,” says Lerner. “When quitters check in once a week, they get 52 chances a year to celebrate success or quickly try again. And with our new Monday communities, they’ll have the support they need online: it’s an easy way to stay on track once you’ve made that New Year’s resolution.”

Quit & Stay Quit Monday is a project of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities.