AMERICAN MOSAIC #811-Internet Anti-Smoking Campaign

By Nancy Steinbach


Health experts say cigarette smoking kills more than four-hundred-thousand people in the United States each year. It kills many more people around the world. A major American health group is using the Internet to help people stop smoking.


Earlier this year, the American Lung Association launched a web site aimed at helping people stop smoking cigarettes. The Association fights all kinds of lung diseases, including asthma, emphysema and cancer. Officials say using the Internet is the best way to help people save their own lives by helping them stop smoking.

The American Lung Association says the new web site is part of its Freedom from Smoking campaign. People around the world can use the web site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The program is free of charge. And it is interactive. A person who links to the web site can communicate with other people who also want to quit smoking. They can ask and answer questions, share concerns and tell about earlier attempts to quit smoking. Part of the Freedom from Smoking campaign requires that everyone have a support group.This is a good way to get one.

Support groups are necessary because quitting smoking is very difficult.The main reason people smoke is because they are addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. Their bodies have developed a need for nicotine.

The Freedom from Smoking campaign recognizes this. People who link to the web site answer a series of questions. These include why they smoke, how long they have been smoking and what causes the urge to have a cigarette. Then the program works with the person to design a successful way to quit. This may include making changes in a person's life or using medicines to help.

So far, more than one-thousand people have begun taking part in the on-line program. To find out more, the computer address is www.lungusa.org.

Voice of America Special English