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Health & Consumer Voice - October - 2011 Edition

Ex-smokers celebrate EU’s Unstoppable campaign

Yesterday, it was Madonna, Colin Firth and the Queen. Today, these are twenty-seven inspirational ex-smokers who look at us from the covers of European newspapers. Thanks to the world renowned photographer, Rankin, who joined the European Commission’s (EC) cause, they have become the ambassadors of the EU’s “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” campaign. The ambassadors were selected from thousands of applications on “Unstoppable’s” national Facebook pages for a photo-shoot with Rankin in London.

Tobacco is the single largest cause of preventable death in the EU. Every year, 650 000 people in the EU die from smoking related diseases. That is why the European Commission launched in June 2011 a three year campaign "Ex-smokers are Unstoppable", targeted at the EU's 25-34 year olds. Its aim is to show young people how much their lives could positively benefit by giving up smoking.

"Young people today hear a lot of negative messages; in the current circumstances, it was important to have a positive message about how you can make your life better, happier, and most importantly healthier, with your own will power and accompanying help in a modern dynamic way" - says Despina Spanou, Principal Adviser for Communication.

Half a million Europeans have so far shown their support for the campaign through its social media pages and more than 40 000 have signed up to iCoach, the online companion to help you quit. iCoach is free to access, available in all EU languages and helps both ex-smokers who wish to stay smoke-free and smokers who wish to conquer their addiction.

Commissioner John Dalli, himself an ex-smoker, is delighted with the campaign's success so far. With the launch of its second phase, "we are taking one more step towards helping young people to quit smoking for good and feel better," he said.

Ex-smokers are Unstoppable contains all the tools, advice and motivation to quit. Visit your national Unstoppable page: