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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dancing with the Stars Mark Ballas Quits Smoking with Blueprint to Quit

Emmy-nominated choreographer, Dancing with the Stars® professional dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas, can now add "former smoker" to his credits thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The multi-faceted star has been smoke-free for more than 6 months thanks to the comprehensive, two-part quit-smoking resource, Blueprint to Quit, available exclusively at Walmart. Now, Ballas is telling his story and sharing his personal "Quit Steps" in hopes of helping others find a way to quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.

Ballas, who began smoking as a teenager, can relate to the everyday struggle millions of Americans encounter when trying to quit smoking. Triggers like stress and being around other smokers always pushed him to light-up another cigarette, but when smoking began impacting his stamina and endurance – traits at the cornerstone of his career – Ballas turned to Blueprint to Quit, which combines two resources for quitting smoking: online behavioral support through QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to address the physical dependence on cigarettes.

"Practicing the utmost discipline in so many parts of my life, I didn't expect quitting smoking to be a struggle," said Ballas. "Day in and day out, I juggled dance rehearsals, tapings, long nights at the studio writing and recording music, and yet quitting smoking was an ongoing fight until now, thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The program allowed me to tackle tough cravings, stick to a plan that worked for me and seek support when I need it. Now, I'm proud to say I'm smoke free – my days are easier and more enjoyable as a result. I hope I can help inspire other smokers who face the same obstacles start their quit journey."

Ballas developed a series of "Quit Steps" videos to illustrate the journey he took to becoming smoke-free. Quit Steps are inspired by the steps in the Blueprint to Quit program and are designed to help others create a plan to get through every stride in their quit. They show how Mark was able to get through those tough moments, his experiences with the NicoDerm CQ patch, the QuitNet behavioral support program and how support from his friends and family was the key to his success.

Blueprint to Quit is available exclusively at Walmart and provides smokers with a two-part plan, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as NicoDerm CQ patches and Nicorette gum and lozenges, to help with the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking, and behavioral support through QuitNet.

QuitNet is available online and can help with the emotional changes associated with quitting smoking. QuitNet.com is the web's largest quit-smoking community and provides smokers with access to trained experts and an online interactive community, as well as a variety of quitting materials and self-assessment tools.

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