“Every Try Counts”, a quit-smoking campaign from the FDA

A new publicity campaign from the Federal Drug Administration launched last week and taps into New Year’s resolutions encouraging smokers to drop their favorite toxin. The ads, claiming “Every Try Counts” are aimed at the nearly two out of three adult smokers who report wanting to quit, but just haven’t quite kicked the habit. Thirty-six and a half million adults were still smoking in the US in 2015.   A little over half tried to quit, and around seven percent were successful. I talked to one ex-smoker I know who had success on his first try.

“Did you have to try more than once to quit?”

“I think that I probably thought about quitting smoking many times,” Barry Marshall, from Williamsville,

“And I don’t think I ever got serious about it until I actually did quit. And when I quit, it was because I was on a trip with a friend who didn’t smoke. We were on a work trip. And I was gone away from home, and away from the people who I knew that smoked, and so I wasn’t around anybody that was smoking, so it made it much easier I think. And I used a patch as an assistant, and I used cinnamon candy each time I wanted a cigarette.”

Barry, and all the other former smokers I’ve ever spoken to, agree quitting is one of the hardest things they’ve ever done. And they also agree while education and ads help some, ultimately the only person who never picks up another cigarette can only be you.

In keeping with the idea not to nag, the “Every Try Counts” campaign

celebrates “each quit attempt as a positive step toward success because research shows those who have tried quitting before are more likely to try again, and those who have tried to quit multiple times have a higher likelihood of quitting for good”.

So even when some can be successful on the first try, the main message is “don’t give up”.

Barry continued, “A Person just has to make up their own mind, and it helped; the best help is to have people that are supportive, not people that are nagging.”

It’s also encouraging that the more time passes, eventually the cravings become fewer. It might be a month for some, or a year for others, but when cigarette smoke begins to smell horrible to you instead of pleasant, that’s a good sign.

“It was many, many mornings with my coffee, it was very, very difficult not to do, but I did it, and you know, after that it got easier and easier.”

What’s true about smoking is the same as with plenty of other addictions.

“For a lot of people when they quit, that it’s to some degree, they quit because they think that it is something they can’t continue to do if they want to live.”

So, Hug a smoker, or maybe just encourage with “Every try counts”? And look forward to another new year.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather