What? Bob Quits (www.bobquits.com) isn't the only anti-smoking campaign out there. The American Legacy Foundation (ALF) -- the same folks who trained a camera on quitter Ethan "Bob" Teicher of Brooklyn -- also have a women's version: the Circle of Friends. The Circle, launched in 2003, is aimed at the one in five American women who smokes.
Why? "We found that women really wanted [personal] support in their quit attempts," said ALF executive vice president Bernadette Toomey. "Men did not." Toomey said studies show that "with the help of friends, [female] smokers are 50 percent more likely to quit for good."
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70 percent of women smokers want to quit, but only 3 percent a year manage to do so.
How? The program, advertised widely on TV, billboards, women's magazines and some CVS stores, uses a Web site (www.join-the-circle.org) to deliver how-to-quit information and encourage smokers, their friends and family members. Among actions the site recommends to support those trying not to light up: mailing a "friendship coupon" -- good for a shared cup of coffee and a pep talk, or perhaps a manicure together, or a shared meal that, says the Web site, "tastes better when you're not smoking."
What else is female about it? Can you spell jewelry? The campaign logo -- a sunburst -- has been rendered into pins, pendants and charms meant to be worn, like the AIDS and breast cancer ribbons, to identify the wearer as part of a movement.
-- Ranit Mishori