Patients Get Assist from Pistons to Quit Smoking

July 22, 2020

DETROIT – Prior to the start of their 2019-20 season, the Detroit Pistons teamed up with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create the Every Try Counts free-throw promotion in support of the national adult smoking cessation campaign.

Despite the Pistons’ season being cut short by 8 home games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they raised $14,760 for the Henry Ford Tobacco Treatment Service, a program that helps adult patients quit smoking. The program is available at no cost to Henry Ford patients, employees and dependents. The Pistons doubled the donation from $5 to $10 for every free-throw attempt by the team this past season.

“We are so incredibly grateful to the Detroit Pistons for this generous donation that will help our patients who have a desire to quit smoking and come to Henry Ford to help them be successful in quitting,” says Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., senior vice president of community health & equity and chief wellness & diversity officer at Henry Ford Health System.

“We hope to use this generous donation to build a virtual training program that will further assist our providers to helping patients successfully navigate through the struggle of quitting,” says Bethany Thayer, director of the Henry Ford Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

Currently, the program offers patients virtual individual or group coaching by phone or video visits.

According to the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, there are approximately 34 million adult cigarette smokers in the U.S., and more than two out of three say they want to quit. Despite this desire to quit, many attempts are unsuccessful. Research shows that many smokers do not quit on their first attempt and need several tries before they succeed.

For over 15 years Henry Ford’s smoking cessation program has been helping patients who use tobacco or nicotine products of any kind. Since its inception, the program has received over 19,000 referrals and enrolled nearly 6,000 patients, helping an estimated 1,200 quit successfully. “Our success is due to our skillful, compassionate specialists who provide support and guidance to patients as they embark on a journey to a tobacco-free life,” says Thayer.

The campaign’s main objective is to underscore the health benefits of quitting smoking and drive an increase in motivation to quit among adult cigarette smokers who have made unsuccessful attempts to quit in the past. Every Try Counts celebrates each attempt to quit smoking and recognizes past attempts not as failures but as small steps toward success.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sal Giacona / sgiacon1@hfhs.org / 313-421-9108