Reaching Workers at Work: Smokers' Helpline Campaign Launch



    HALIFAX, March 19 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Cancer Society - Nova
Scotia Division - announced a first-of-its-kind campaign targeting employees
at work. The "Reaching Workers at Work" Smokers' Helpline campaign was
officially launched at the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax.
    "We know from focus group testing that there are real psychological
barriers to picking up a phone and talking to a stranger about a very
emotional and difficult subject - smoking," said Meg McCallum, Director of
Programs for the Society. "Some people think they're going to be judged, some
think they are going to have to commit - so we want to help break down some of
those preconceptions."
    The campaign involves posters, stickers and self-contained telephones
placed at workplaces across the province - all addressing barriers identified
in the research phase. For example, one poster has the headline: "We don't
want to hug you either" and then continues to say, "So when you call the
Smokers' Helpline, we're not going to get all touchy-feely (unless you want us
to). What we will do is listen when you're ready to talk, and help you find a
way to quit, for good. You can quit. And we can help."
    The telephones are the basis for the campaign, a unique and first time
tactic to talk to employees at work. There are four different spots, two on
each phone. They are self-contained and are displayed in high-traffic employee
areas such as lunchrooms. The messages will also be played on radio stations
across the province over the next two weeks.
    "Our goal was to reach workers at their place of employment to create
awareness about the Smokers' Helpline," said McCallum. "And we needed to do
this without using the standard "stop smoking" message - we needed a little
humour."
    For this phase of the campaign, materials have been distributed to over
6,000 employees across Nova Scotia as a pilot program. Among participating
employers, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation is onboard in all stores across
the province. Stream International in Cape Breton is committed to the
campaign, placing 1500 stickers on their pay stubs, placing posters around the
office and hosting six telephones at their location. The Westin Nova Scotian
is also onboard, with three phones on location.
    "We're happy to be involved in a campaign like this," said Sandie Currie,
Sales and Marketing Manager for the Westin Nova Scotian. "We're always looking
for ways to help improve the lives of our employees. It's a great way to talk
to them while they're at work. And I know it's generated some buzz here!"

    About the Smokers' Helpline: Since its launch in November 2002, the
Smokers' Helpline has supported more than 8049 smokers and non-smokers in Nova
Scotia. (Both calls in and calls out) Calls are toll-free and there is no
charge for the service. Quit Specialists welcome calls from smokers who want
to quit, smokers who may not be ready to quit, and people who want to help a
smoker quit. Recently, the service expanded to include weekend hours,
information for pregnant women, and a fax referral program enabling health
professionals to refer interested clients. You can reach the Canadian Cancer
Society Smokers' Helpline by calling 1 877 513-5333.

    About the Canadian Cancer Society: The Canadian Cancer Society is a
national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to
eradicate cancer and to enhance the quality of life of people living with
cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website
www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1
888 939-3333.


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: please contact: Jane Hall, Account Manager,
Extreme Group, (902) 461-0321, jane.hall@extremegroup.com; Carmen MacKenzie,
Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society - Nova Scotia Division,
(902) 423-6183; Note to editors: Pictures of the telephone on location are
available, as well as poster and sticker files.


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