EU and FC Barcelona team up against smoking
John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumers and FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell have announced a new smoking cessation partnership between the European Commission and FC Barcelona. The unique initiative ‘Quit Smoking with Barça’ is designed to help Europe’s 28 million smokers in the 25-34 year old age group across Europe to become ex-smokers.
is the single largest cause of avoidable death in the European Union (EU) accounting for almost 700,000 deaths each year. A further 13 million people in the EU suffer from serious diseases caused by smoking, such as and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. One in four (26%) of all deaths from cancer in the EU are caused by smoking, and smoking is responsible for 85% of deaths across the EU.
Despite these figures, almost a third (28%) of citizens across the EU currently smokes cigarettes, cigars or a pipe.
The EC and FC Barcelona are not strangers to anti-smoking campaigns. In 2011 the European Commission launched the successful 'Ex-smokers are Unstoppable' and in 2010 FC Barcelona launched 'Barça Sense Fum' which also lead to the Barcelona stadium Camp Nou becoming the first smoke free football stadium in Spain.
A captive audience
Both John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumers and FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell are delighted to join forces. "Through this collaboration we will seek to help football supporters across Europe to take back control of their health and their lives, encouraging them to be as passionate about their health as they are about the “beautiful game,” said FC Barcelona President, Sandro Rosell.
Building on the success of the 'Ex Smokers Campaign'
Speaking about the new alliance, John Dalli said, "Our 'Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable' campaign is helping hundreds of thousands of men and women on their journey towards a smoke-free life, and this important collaboration should help amplify our message even further."
By building on the success of the existing EC campaign, and spreading the message to all the Barça fans the aim is to reach as wide an audience as possible. It is envisaged that more members of the public will be inspired and motivated to give up smoking forever.
There are already 225,000 registered users of icoach, the online smoking cessation tool,of which 40% of users claim to be ex smokers after 3 months.
What will the new campaign initiate?
• Offer tips, tools and daily advice
• Send out a positive and motivational message
• Try to save more lives
• Encourage people to respect their bodies
The new campaign initiatives will help the EC to reach new levels in promoting the benefits of stopping smoking, and with the help of Barça, one the world's most iconic sporting institutions, this special partnership can only help to increase the positive health message of becoming an ex-smoker.
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