QuitDoc Foundation was established in 2006 by two physicians, a pulmonologist and a pediatrician, both with a mission to improve the overall community health for residents of all ages. In their practices they were seeing the negative effects of tobacco use and vaping on family members, due to their own addiction and those exposed to the second-hand smoke or chemical emmissions from vaping devices. Increased respiratory infections, poor surgery outcomes, heart disease and other tobacco/vape related illnesses led QuitDoc to initially focus on tobacco and vaping prevention.
From 2006 to the present, QuitDoc focused on creating social norms in communities designed to combat the youth tobacco and vaping epidemic and to help those already addicted to become nicotine free. By creating vape-free and tobacco-free laws and regulations, QuitDoc has assisted local communities with implementing social norms that decrease the number of youths who perceive vape or tobacco use as the acceptable norm along with also encouraging an increase in cessation referrals and quit attempts for both youth and adults. This also created overall healthier outcomes for everyone in the community due to lack of exposure to secondhand smoke, chemical emissions, or nicotine addiction.
With the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, QuitDoc found the need to expand their reach to better target attitudes surrounding the need for healthy lifestyles to combat the effects of this epidemic. By creating an educational campaign focusing on sites with increased foot-traffic because of the COVID-19, such as pandemic food distribution centers, COVID-19 testing sites, medical offices, and open retail outlets, QuitDoc began the task of once again creating social norms that would support healthy habits. The focus of this mass social media marketing campaign was to direct people to information on COVID-19 prevention and to encourage tobacco cessation for the population that was considered at -risk due to nicotine addiction. The initial campaign success resulted in an additional digital marketing campaign in 75 Quest Lab locations, and direct point-of-sale counter-marketing campaign at tobacco retail outlets to share information on the increased risks of tobacco use, and strategies to address these risks, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in QuitDoc having an increased awareness of the impact of social isolation during the lockdown, particularly among the elderly. It became very apparent there was a lack of resources for our aging population, even in the best of times. This information has resulted in a new expansion of services that will allow QuitDoc to use their expertise in tobacco control laws and regulations to create age friendly social norms designed to equip older adults with the ability and the necessary resources to live independently longer and healthier.
From creating vape-free and tobacco-free social norms to generating community-based friendly aging standards, QuitDoc is a dedicated advocate to ensure that everyone has access to an environment that will support living a longer, fuller, healthier life.