Barcelona have teamed up with the European Commission to help football fans quit smoking.
Some of the club’s biggest stars, including Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Carles Puyol are calling on supporters across Europe to say ‘no to smoking’ and have pledged to offer guidance and support to fans wanting give up cigarettes.
The Catalan club’s campaign, called ‘Quit Smoking with Barca’, features an online and mobile app called the FCB iCoach, which gives personalised tips, information on quitting smoking and motivation from the Barcelona players, along with other influential figures at the club such as coach Tito Vilanova and president Sandro Rosell.
It comes nearly a year after Barca introduced their smoke-free policy at Camp Nou to encourage supporters to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Once a smoker registers with the FCB iCoach programme, they will complete a short questionnaire which identifies the type of coaching they require to give up the habit.
With over 140 million smokers throughout Europe, the European Commission are confident Barca’s reputation as one of the world’s biggest clubs will encourage many to kick the habit.
Speaking at a press conference at Camp Nou, Rosell called upon supporters across the continent to get involved in the scheme: “At Barca we have the best fans in the world and we want to take care of them. Our motto ‘Mes que un club’ means we’re committed to a philosophy that should be evident in all we do.
“We always act with a social consciousness and another way for us to do this is to stand side by side with the European Commission as we launch ‘Quit Smoking with Barça’. Making our facilities and our stadium smoke-free was an important milestone and the next one is today – the launch of the FCB iCoach.
“When you sign up to the FCB iCoach, the whole club will support you every step of the way giving you the expert knowledge of people within the club to help you in your fight to quit cigarettes for good. We want all smokers to consider quitting.
“If you can commit to trying we can commit to standing by your side every step of the way on your journey to a smoke-free life. There has never been a better time to quit than now.”