CHOICES is an exciting consumer-driven program for smokers with mental illness in New Jersey. Our goal is to increase awareness of the importance of addressing tobacco use and to create a strong peer support network that encourages mental health consumers to make a positive healthy lifestyle change by addressing smoking and tobacco use.
CHOICES is innovative because it employs mental health consumers, called Consumer Tobacco Advocates, to deliver the vital message to smokers with mental illness that addressing tobacco is important and to motivate them to seek treatment. The Consumer Tobacco Advocates provide their peers with information about the consequences of smoking, issues regarding smoking and mental illness, and options available to make quitting easier. They visit mental health centers, self-help centers and health fairs to communicate with and educate consumers about their smoking. They also provide resources about places in New Jersey where smokers with mental illness can receive tobacco dependence treatment.
As the Consumer Tobacco Advocates increase awareness among consumers about the relationship between smoking and their overall wellness, many consumers have come to terms with their desire to quit. Their clear message about the need for tobacco-cessation services and treatments will drive public policy on this issue more than any other force.
Do you want to start feeling better? Now's the time to BECOME MOTIVATED! Learn as much as you can about tobacco misuse, take control and feel better. Are you a mental health consumer interested in learning more about quitting smoking?
You have CHOICES! We can help!
CHOICES 10th Anniversary
On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the CHOICES team was honored for their 10th Anniversary, at Pierre’s of South Brunswick. Over 50 people attended the luncheon, including community partners and stakeholders from around the state, as well as faculty and staff from Rutgers University. The program featured speakers including Margaret Molnar, Christopher Kosseff, Robert Kley as well as program founders Dr. Jill Williams and Marie Verna.
It was a wonderful day to honor the accomplishments that the team has made over the past ten years, which includes meeting with over 33, 000 consumers throughout the state of New Jersey. These meetings entail education about tobacco as well as personal testimonies of quitting smoking. During these visits, each consumer also receives informational handouts to take with them, including health consequences of smoking and treatment resources that are available. They are also afforded the opportunity to have the carbon monoxide in their breath measured, and given feedback about their individual results. The CHOICES team strives to improve the health of mental health consumers throughout the state of NJ.
Here’s to the next 10 years!