FDA Targeting Bristol County, Mass. With Quit Smoking Ads

By: Tim Studebaker

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ATTLEBORO, MASS. – If you live or work in Bristol County, Massachusetts, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed something different at your local convenience store, especially if you smoke.  New signs are going up encouraging smokers to try to quit.

The Food and Drug Administration wants to encourage smokers to quit with those new ads, part of a campaign called "Every Try Counts."  The two year campaign puts a positive spin on the quitting process.

The Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, says, “We know from the research, the more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to ultimately succeed.”

They picked gas stations and convenience stores because that’s where most people buy their cigarettes.

Zeller says, “When smokers go into those places, they’re bombarded with the marketing and the promotion for cigarettes.  We want them to see our message.”

Ads will run in 35 counties across the country with smoking rates much higher than the national average.  Bristol County, Massachusetts is one of those counties.

More than 70 stores in the county have the signs, like Briggs Corner Store in Attleboro.

Shawn Martin, the owner of Briggs Corner Store, says, “I get how hard it is for people to stop smoking.  If it’s something that helps, that’s great.  So, I had no problem jumping in on the program.”

Martin says he sells fewer cigarettes now than he did in past years.

Martin says, “I think the younger generation has figured it out a little better than – because of the education piece of it – than the older generations.”

He says the signs have encouraged some of his customers to try to quit.

Richard Berard from Attleboro is one of those customers.  He says, “Mostly recently in the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed them, and I stopped to read them.”

When asked if the signs got him thinking about trying to quit again, Berard says, “Yes, definitely.  Of course, every day I think about it and I wish I could quit it.”

If you’re trying to quit smoking, you can find resources at https://smokefree.gov/everytrycounts/

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