The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund began signing up truckers for its “Rigs Without Cigs” tobacco cessation campaign at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas on Thursday.
The program is aimed to help truckers quit smoking, dipping and chewing tobacco to improve their health. Julie Dillon, communication and wellness manager with the St. Christopher Fund, says drivers aren’t expected to quit cold turkey when the campaign officially begins on Sept. 1, but instead is aimed to help them cut down on their tobacco use.
“Most drivers probably won’t be able to quit cold turkey, but if we can get them to cut down after a few months from two packs a day to maybe one pack a day, that’s improvement,” she says. “We will have a support system to help walk them through the program and help them succeed.”
Drivers who sign up for the campaign will get weekly emails or phone calls to answer any questions or to provide encouragement for continuing to cut back on tobacco use. In addition, Dillon says drivers will be sent a “quit key,” which is basically a key fob that tells drivers when they can smoke, slowly cutting back each day.
After each quarter during the year-long campaign, participating drivers will fill out a questionnaire to track their progress, and program sponsor RoadPro will be giving away random prizes. A new group of drivers will also be able to join the campaign at the end of each quarter. At the end of the campaign at GATS in 2018, drivers who participated will be eligible for a grand prize drawing for $500.
Truckers can sign up to participate in the free program here. The campaign also has a Facebook group that will be used as a support system for participants.