Today, an important benchmark of more than 60,000 smokers across Europe has been reached with the innovative smoking cessation programme, ‘Quit Smoking With Barça’ (www.quitsmokingwithbarca.eu). This programme is a collaborative effort between FC Barcelona (FCB) and the European Commission. This notable achievement comes less than three months since the launch of the collaboration.
‘Quit Smoking With Barça’ is an innovative online platform that provides evidence-based advice, customised support and daily smoking cessation tips to smokers; from the hearts and mouths of Barça’s star players, coaching team and staff. This free support is available via the programme’s mobile app, the FCB iCoach, that guides smokers through a 5 phase process designed to transition them gently towards a healthier, smoke-free life.
FCB Club President, Sandro Rosell, commented on the early success of FCB iCoach: “It has been a great challenge for us to help Barca fans and all football supporters across Europe to improve their health and we are happy that the European Commission has worked with us to bring this opportunity about. Our motto ‘Més que un club’ communicates our commitment and responsibility to our fans. The impressive uptake of “Quit Smoking With Barça” has motivated us to use our voice and do our upmost to encourage smokers to win their battle against tobacco; by offering them the tools, guidance and encouragement to kick the habit for good. We would like to congratulate all those who have signed up to”Quit Smoking with Barça”.
Speaking of the collaboration with FC Barcelona, Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, said: “I have high expectations for the Commission’s collaboration with Barcelona Football Club – “Barça”, to help Europe’s 140 million smokers become “Unstoppable” by quitting smoking. Since the launch of this partnership in December 2012, there have been more than 60,000 registrations to Barça’s ‘iCoach’, proving that the European Commission’s long experience in tobacco control initiatives, combined with the status of Barça, has proved a winning combination in improving the health and lives of football fans across Europe.”
Both FC Barcelona and the European Commission have significant achievements in anti-smoking initiatives. In January 2012, FCB became the first club of the Spanish Legue to voluntarily declare its stadium and all facilities at Camp Nou a non-smoking zone. At the same time, ‘Quit Smoking with Barça’ is part of the award winning campaign “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable”(www.exsmokers.eu), an initiative of the European Commission already supporting over 355,000 smokers and ex-smokers to live smoke-free lives.