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Smokers: Resolve to Get the Monkey off Your Back in 2010

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Quitting smoking is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions for many Minnesotans. As the holiday approaches, QUITPLAN Services, the free quit-smoking program provided through ClearWay Minnesota(SM), hopes to motivate them to make a fresh start with a new television ad launching just as most smokers resolve to quit. The new ad acknowledges that every individual experiences different triggers for smoking, and highlights the free, personalized help available through QUITPLAN Services. The ad debuts on Dec. 28.

"The New Year's holiday is when many smokers resolve to quit tobacco once and for all," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. "Our new ad will help people realize that freedom from nicotine addiction is within their reach."

Everyone's Monkey is Different

The television ad puts a fresh twist on the idea of cigarette addiction as a monkey on one's back. The spot, "Everyone's Monkey is Different," features different smokers struggling with their unique monkeys, which tempt them to smoke upon waking, at the office, while commuting to work or outside a restaurant. Real monkeys and apes of various species were used in the making of the ad, which was created by Minneapolis agency Clarity Coverdale Fury. The campaign will also extend to online ads, with video and flash banners reinforcing the idea that help is available through QUITPLAN Services' free personalized plan.

The new ad is the most recent of several QUITPLAN Services ads to feature monkeys on people's backs. Over the years, television, radio and bus side advertising for QUITPLAN Services has featured everything from penguins and loons to cats and even robots on backs, all to show that it's possible for smokers to kick the habit for good.

"We make every effort to create attention-getting campaigns that acknowledge the difficulties most smokers face, while offering them practical, everyday advice that really works," Willoughby added.

Smoking takes its toll

In addition to being unhealthy for the smoker, tobacco use takes its toll on all Minnesotans. Each year, 5,500 Minnesotans die from tobacco-related diseases, and the cost of smoking is estimated to be $2 billion in direct health care costs. Minnesotans can find out about all the free help to quit smoking through QUITPLAN Services by visiting or calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

QUITPLAN® Services for Minnesotans include:

  • The QUITPLAN® Helpline - The QUITPLAN Helpline, 1-888-354-PLAN, offers telephone counseling and free nicotine patches, lozenges or gum to eligible callers.
  • - The Web site offers free lifetime membership, helpful quitting tools and activities and the chance to connect online with thousands of others who have chosen to quit tobacco.
  • QUITPLAN® Centers - QUITPLAN Centers provide in-person counseling in a healthcare setting, as well as access to nicotine patches, lozenges or gum.
  • Community-Tailored QUITPLAN® Centers - A combination of stop-smoking tools and culturally-tailored counseling for communities of color.
  • QUITPLAN® at Work - The QUITPLAN at Work program offers free on-site professional group counseling for eligible businesses with at least eight employees ready to stop smoking.

About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

    Contact: Marietta Dreher
    Senior Marketing Manager
    (952) 767-1419

    Merete Wells
    Carmichael Lynch Spong
    Mobile: (605) 228-9838

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
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