May 31, World No Tobacco Day. The World Health Organisation, hopes to spark awareness among smokers around the world to put down tobacco by highlighting the effects of smoking on cardiovascular health. While this annual event attracts media attention and is also a probable starting point to quit smoking, the real challenge is how to keep smokers away from tobacco after World No Tobacco Day.
Researchers feel that one of the ways to keep the ball rolling after this annual push, is to use every Monday as a weekly prod to support them in their efforts to quit smoking.
An analysis of Google search patterns reveals a strange and striking trend – at the beginning of every week there is a surge of online searches on ‘quit smoking’. This trend has been consistent for the four years that were analysed but also across six languages pointing to Monday as a potential global leverage point to campaign for quitting smoking. In fact, the numbers of searches are increasing every year on Mondays as compared to other days.
Dr Joanna Cohen, co-author of the Google study and director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, sees potential in this Monday mindset.
“Quitting smoking is a difficult process but the number of tragedies occurring every year because of tobacco are totally preventable. Too many people have lost their loved ones to tobacco. Monday can be used as a great cue to motivate people to quit smoking.”
Dr Cohen and her colleagues are working with The Monday Campaigns, a non-profit organisation aiming to establish Monday as a good day to promote healthy behaviour under the Quit and Stay Quit Monday campaign to help people Stay Quit beyond World No Tobacco Day.
Tobacco cessation professionals can subscribe to Quit and Stay Quit Monday’s newsletter that provides encouragement and evidence-based tips every Monday to help smokers quit forever.