Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Community feature: Quit and Stay Quit Monday

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control works closely with Quit and Stay Quit Monday to develop evidence-based materials.
Quit and Stay Quit Monday, I think, is one of the most powerful application of the Monday idea, primarily because the relapse rate is so high among smokers. It’s very rare that a smoker will be able to just quit once and have that stick. I’m Joanna Cohen. I’m the director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death here in this country and around the world. Here in the United States, we have 42 million smokers, and around 480,000 deaths each and every year. The tragedy is that each and every one of these deaths is completely preventable.
So we’ve found that Monday is a tremendously great opportunity for smoking cessation. The Quit and Stay Quit campaign is a tremendous resource for smokers who want to quit, and that’s actually the majority of smokers. Data show that over 2/3 of smokers want to quit, and almost half try to quit each and every year. It’s very rare that a smoker will be able to just quit once and have that stick. So there are a lot of multiple attempts. And so the idea of having a weekly opportunity to quit and recommit is very useful and powerful. My name’s Cori Floyd. I’m the program manager for Quit and Stay Quit Monday and also Move It Monday.
And so essentially what I do is manage all of our programmatic, marketing, and promotion activities that relate to these two campaigns. Ultimately, Quit and Stay Quit Monday is really meant to help smokers quit. And ultimately, we’re trying to give smokers another tool in the toolbox. With Quit and Stay Quit Monday the idea is that on Monday you commit to quit smoking. And if you’ve stayed quit for the rest of the week, and it’s now the new Monday, you get to celebrate your quit and recommit to quit. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, like a lot of people do, then you can just quit again the following Monday. Ultimately, the target population is smokers.
That’s who the resources are ultimately for, and they’re really meant to reinforce existing strategies that are out there to help with quitting smoking. But at the same time, Quit and Stay Quit Monday is really a great resource for tobacco cessation professionals as well. So what we’ve also done is create a variety of materials for tobacco cessation professionals to use in their programs when they’re engaging with smokers. The creative team at the Monday campaigns develop a whole range of materials. My staff and I get to review the materials for the science and the scientific basis for them. We’ve developed a combination of program materials that tobacco cessation professionals can use in their programs.
And then we’ve also developed promotional materials, too, that are really meant to get smokers engaged and then also interlace with existing strategies. We’ve also created weekly blogs. So they’re meant to line up with the weekly tips that we provide. The partners for Quit and Stay Quit Monday are pretty diverse, as with a lot of our campaigns. There are people– organizations that use us on social media that may repost our content, like We like to work with national organizations that promote smoking cessation and provide tools, because a lot of times states or local entities may direct to that. But at the same time, we recognize that there’s a lot of boots on the ground too.
So we work with a lot of public health departments to leverage our materials because oftentimes they’re the ones providing the services to the communities. A lot of organizations are using these materials in their smoking cessation programs. County health departments, for example, are using them through their social media channels. And Smoke Free Philly is one example of a health department that is using these materials specifically through their Facebook page. Smoke Free Philly– we really love them. And it’s such an exciting partnership that we have with them. And that they’ve really adopted leveraging Mondays when it comes to promotion.
And so they are the ideal in that they’re using our assets every Monday on social media to promote quit smoking and use our services to do that, which is another great way to use our tools to direct people to your existing programs. Policy provides the underlying framework in which we all act and behave. So in public health policy what we try to do is create an environment that supports healthy behaviors. You see it all over the country that states, and communities, and campuses are implementing policies to really help push this forward about quitting smoking, but also trying to provide support to those who are trying to quit. So not leaving them out to dry in a lot of ways.
So when that comes to smoking, for example, we have smoke-free public places or Clean Indoor Air policies where people aren’t allowed to smoke indoors so that they don’t harm other people through their secondhand smoke. One of the exciting things is that we find when that happens not only are smokers not exposing nonsmokers to their secondhand smoke, but they actually reduce the amount that they smoke during the day. And eventually it helps them quit smoking, as well. Another policy example would be the price of cigarettes. So we know from economics that when goods are cheaper, we buy more of them. And there’s a lot of research that shows that as tobacco prices go up, people buy less.
What we’ve seen over the last few years is that universities tend to use our materials to bring awareness. So if they have a smoke-free policy they’re trying to get in place, using Quit and Stay Quit Monday to get that energy going, get the conversation going, and get people engaged. We’ve seen that that’s kind of in a way our materials have been used when it comes to policy change. We’ve actually conducted a pilot study of Quit and Stay Quit Monday with smoking cessation groups here in the state of Maryland. What we found is that the people who were in the Quit and Stay Quit Monday group actually reported more confidence in quitting at the end of the program, which is terrific.
That’s the first step and a really important outcome.
Quit and Stay Quit Monday is an initiative by the Monday Campaigns to help smokers quit smoking. Peggy Neu, President of The Monday Campaigns, calls Quit and Stay Quit Monday one of the most powerful ways to use Mondays as a day to reflect and commit to behavior change goals.

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death in the United States and worldwide. According to Joanna Cohen, Director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, over two-thirds of smokers want to quit, and almost half of them attempt quitting. However, the relapse rate is high among smokers, and lots of multiple attempts are often necessary once a person decides to quit smoking.

This is where the idea behind Quit and Stay Quit Monday becomes useful: every Monday, participants commit to not smoking for an entire week. If participants “stayed quit” for a week, then the following Monday gives them a chance to celebrate and recommit again. If they committed last Monday but fell off the wagon, they have another opportunity to commit on the following Monday and learn from the previous week. By receiving reminders and updates, participants are supported throughout the processes and have continuous access to tools to help them achieve their goal.

Quit and Stay Quit Monday resources are aimed toward smokers, and are also valuable tools for tobacco cessation professionals to use in their programs. Various partners (e.g., national organizations, public health departments, health clinics, and universities) use promotional materials to get smokers engaged, tie the ideas behind Quit and Stay Quit Monday into existing programs, and bring awareness to the campaign through social media.

Quit and Stay Quit Monday quote that reads, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. –Henry Ford”Sourced with permission: The Monday Campaigns

In a study by De Leon, et. al. [1], on the effectiveness of Quit and Stay Quit Monday, researchers found that those who participated in the program reported more confidence in their ability to quit smoking as opposed to those who did not participate. This is a very important first step, and a very important outcome.


As you watch, consider the following, post your response below, and reply to comments of other learners:

Are there other behaviors that have high relapse rates, similar to smoking cessation?

How can the tobacco policies described by Dr. Cohen be applied in other settings?


[1] De Leon, El, Crossnohere, N. L., Fuentes, L. W., Johnson, M, Welding, K. & Cohen, J. E. (2018). ‘Quit and Stay Quit Monday’ as a novel approach to smoking cessation: a pilot experimental study. Journal of Smoking Cessation, 13(3). Retrieved from:

This article is from the free online

The Monday Campaigns: Lessons in Public Health Promotion

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education