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In January 2018, FDA launched “Every Try Counts,” the agency’s first smoking cessation campaign. The campaign was built on the key research insight that it takes many smokers multiple quit attempts to achieve long-term cessation. It also underscored the health benefits of quitting and used positive messaging to increase motivation for smokers to try to quit again.
Our Goal: Reach smokers who live in 35 U.S. counties with high adult smoking rates and encourage them to quit.
How We Used Research to Guide “Every Try Counts”
To guide campaign development, FDA conducted focus groups to determine which messages resonated with adult smokers, including:
- Using real experiences from smokers who were trying to quit or who succeeded at quitting for good after repeated attempts
- Focusing on reframing failure as an opportunity to learn what works for them
- Placing emphasis on small steps to help smokers “practice the quit” and celebrating each quit attempt
- Using non-judgmental messages to encourage repeat attempts until they quit for good – this felt manageable and empowering to adult smokers
“Every Try Counts” Campaign – The Right Content at the Right Time:
- Delivered tailored digital content based on geographic locations in and around convenience stores and gas stations where tobacco products are sold.
- Delivered ads to smokers who were open to quitting using behavioral, lifestyle, and demographic information – and reminded them that resources are available to help them every step of the way.
Campaign messages encouraging smokers to quit were displayed in and around places where cigarettes are sold (such as gas stations and convenience stores) that typically feature cigarette advertisements and where smokers face triggers that can keep them smoking.
Our Partnership with the National Cancer Institute: FDA partners with the National Cancer Institute to develop cessation resources to encourage smokers to take steps toward quitting.
Quitting tools on EveryTryCounts.gov include:
- Text message programs
- A mobile quitting app
- Trained cessation counselors who can be reached through online chat or by phone
- Information about FDA-approved cessation medications
In early 2020, “Every Try Counts” shifted to a national digital campaign to reach a broader audience. Campaign messages reached over 45 million adult smokers.
In total, “Every Try Counts” advertising generated over 769 million digital views and sent more than 1.6 million unique visitors to EveryTryCounts.gov, prompting over 15,000 sign-ups for text message programs designed to help smokers quit.
Although “Every Try Counts” advertising ended in 2020, FDA continues to develop a range of free adult cessation education materials with the goal of reaching diverse audiences, including LGBTQI+ smokers and Spanish language speakers. These materials are available in English and Spanish and promote the benefits of quitting and address nicotine misperceptions.
Free Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Resources at FDA Tobacco Education Resource Library