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Sandro Rosell, Paola Testori i Jordi Monés, en la presentació ‘Deixa de fumar amb el Barça’. FOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB.

European smokers can from today, December 1st, give up smoking with the help of the “Quit smoking with Barça” campaign - a public health initiative undertaken by the European Commission and FC Barcelona to help fans who love life and love Barça to give up smoking.

“Quit smoking with Barça” is the latest step in the European Commission’s campaign ”Ex-smokers are Unstoppable” , an initiative which has spread across 27 countries of the European Union over the last two years. At the heart of the campaign is the free on-line tool FCB iCoach, - a telephone app which offers updated support with the participation of Barça players, coaches and staff.

Unprecedented collaborationm

Following the success of the “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable campaign (exsmokers.eu) and tapping into the strength of millions of Barça fans all over the world, this collaboration between a sporting institution and the European Commission aims to help more than 140 million European smokers give up smoking for good.

Quit smoking with Barça works with the personal help programme FCB iCoach, which helps promote a healthy lifestyle. When a smoker signs up for the programme, they fill in a brief questionnaire to establish the help they need. Advice and tips based on these answers are then provided by Barça coaches, staff and players. The four Club captains - Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Víctor Valdés and Xavi, as well as Club President Sandro Rosell, coach Tito Vilanova, Guillermo Amor and other Club experts are all contributing to the programme.

Rosell: “We want to go a step further”

During the press conference held in the Club’s Sala Paris before the game against Athletic Bilbao, President Rosell explained: “we at FC Barcelona are very proud to have been chosen as the first football club to collaborate with the European Commission, especially for such an important issue as the fight against smoking – the main cause of avoidable death in Europe. Our two organizations share many things: the same desire to serve, the search for excellence, integrity and looking after our health”.

Sr Rosell went on: “one of the things that gives meaning to the phrase ’more than a Club’ is our commitment to our society and its members. Helping people towards a healthier lifestyle was behind our decision to make our stadium a smoke free area - a decision which was widely supported by our members and their representatives at the Assemblea
de Compromissaris”.

Finally, Sr Rosell explained: “ now we want to go a step further and show our support for all Europe’s smokers and help them fight their addiction. We have undertaken this task with the European Commission, but we need our fans’ support. They have to decide to give up smoking. The European Commission has provided its vast experience and the online tool FCB iCoach, which allows our players, coaches, staff and directors to give our full support to the initiative”.

300.000 Europeans with the Coach

The shared commitment to supporting health initiatives was at the heart of the collaboration between the Club and the Commission and the Director General of Health and Consumer Issues at the European institution, Paola Testori Coggi, explained: “I am proud to be here today to launch the second phase of the Commission’s project for a smoke free Europe. I am thrilled that our successful and respected campaign “Ex- Smokers are Unstoppable” has led to the collaboration with such globally prestigious sporting institution. Nearly 300,000 Europeans are trying to give up smoking by using the iCoach and I hope that our years of experience in anti-smoking programmes, together with the
popularity that Barça enjoy, will help many people to a healthy smoke free lifestyle. Barça is not just one of the world’s best clubs, it is also the best for transmitting values”.

Fans’ support

As part of the launch, a special team of 11 supporters from different European countries has been selected to be the first in their respective countries to sign up for the Barça iCoach. The eleven supporters will be the guests of honour at tonight’s game against Bilbao and will come onto the pitch with a flag supporting the campaign whilst a video message appears on the stadium’s video screen encouraging smokers to sign up for the initiative.

More information about the campaign and FCB iCoach can be found at: www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu

More information

The “Stop Smoking with Barça” campaign

https:www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu

The “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable campaign:

http://www.exsmokers.eu

 



700.000 deaths a year in Europe

The “Quit smoking with Barça” campaign is a public health initiative undertaken by
the European Commission and FC Barcelona to help deal with the 700,000 deaths a
year caused by smoking in Europe. Building on the success of the Club’s no smoking policy and the Commission’s “Ex Smokers are Unstoppable” campaign, the initiative is
aimed at helping the 28 million smokers aged between 28 and 34 in Europe to quit smoking (Www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu). iCoach (www.exsmokers.eu) is a free digital tool which is helping more than 300.00 smokers across the continent to give up smoking and is available for iPhone and Android (www.exsmokers.eu / mobile)

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