BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

“I will never smoke.” “Thank you. I will quit smoking.” These are just two of the many comments made by visitors to BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. One of the most powerful and visual displays in the exhibition prompts strong reactions from people with a personal connection to tobacco use.

As a result, BODY WORLDS and the Museum have partnered with the American Lung Association and the Colorado QuitLine to launch I QUIT!, a program to help people stop smoking. The launch of I QUIT! coincides with World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2010.

The I QUIT! program was started by BODY WORLDS in 2006, after several museum cleaning crews in Denver and other cities reported finding unfinished cigarette packages left near the smoker’s lungs on display. Visitors laid down their last pack of cigarettes after viewing the blackened lungs compared side-by-side, and in stark contrast, to the healthy lungs of a nonsmoker.

“Each rejected pack marked a victory by one person against nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, a licensed physician and designer of the BODY WORLDS exhibitions. “Many of the visitors reported that they had tried everything to quit smoking but only stopped after seeing the smoker’s lungs on display.”

The I QUIT! initiative features an inspirational multimedia installation including late actor Yul Brynner’s memorable antismoking PSA from the 1980s, pledge cards for visitors who vow to stop smoking, a repository where visitors can leave their last packs of cigarettes, and take-home information about the American Lung Association and the Colorado QuitLine.

“Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, and accounts for some 30 percent of all cancer deaths,” said Cindy Liverance, vice president of programs for the American Lung Association in Colorado. “We are proud to partner with BODY WORLDS and the Museum on the I QUIT! initiative. We hope this exhibit will underscore the dangers of tobacco and will increase the success rate of those who pledge to quit.”

“More than 200,000 people have called the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-Quit-Now for support and resources since its inception in 2001,” said Deb Osborne, tobacco cessation director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We hope that the exhibit will motivate people who smoke to quit so they can live longer and improve the quality of their lives.”

Independent surveys conducted at the BODY WORLDS exhibitions have revealed that 68 percent of visitors resolved to pay more attention to their physical health after seeing the exhibition. At one venue, results showed that 10 percent of visitors stated they had smoked less and consumed less alcohol since their visit to the exhibition.

Facts About Smoking Cessation

From the moment you quit smoking, your body will thank you. After you’ve stopped smoking for

8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months, your lung function increases up to 30 percent.
1 year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
10 years, the lunch cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s.
15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

About BODY WORLDS at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The all-new exhibition, BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart, reveals — through the lenses of anatomy, cardiology, psychology and culture — how the heart nourishes, regulates and sustains life. The exhibition gives Museum visitors profound insight into the human body, health and disease, and the intricate world of the cardiovascular system and awes visitors with more than 200 human specimens, including whole-body plastinates, organs and translucent body slices.

BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart runs until July 18, 2010. The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with extended hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. General visitors pay $25.50 for adults, $16 for children/students (age 3-18 or with a student ID) and $19 for seniors (age 65+); this ticket price includes admission to both the Museum and the BODY WORLDS exhibition. The exhibition is time-ticketed and advance reservations are strongly encouraged; popular times often sell out. For additional information on pricing, including group rates and special extended hours rates, visit www.dmns.org.

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, check www.dmns.org, or call 303-322-7009. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding from the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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