Westin backs smoke-free lifestyle

Westin Hotels & Resorts has teamed with celebrity jewelry designer Mauri Pioppo to create a talisman necklace in support of smoke-free living. The Renewal Talisman will raise awareness of the benefits of going smoke-free, especially for women and girls, and provide a tangible way for women to share their support for a smoke-free lifestyle with their loved ones. Westin created the piece to celebrate its own commitment to breathing free, made in December 2005 when it announced it would become the first major hotel chain in North America to go smoke-free.

While women are embracing healthy trends in increasing numbers, dependence on cigarettes remains a dirty little secret for an alarming number of women and girls. The American Legacy Foundation works to raise awareness about the urgency of the crisis:

  — In 2004, nearly one in five American women smoked.

  — Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women.

  — 22 percent of high school girls are current smokers.

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  — The majority of female smokers want to quit smoking. Support
from family and friends can improve a smoker’s odds of
quitting up to 50 percent.

  — Women rate the importance of support higher than men. 54
percent of women who attempt to quit smoking rely on social
support from friends and family.
The Renewal Talisman spreads the message that women can help each other to live smoke-free by sharing their support for the cause and for each other.

Mauri Pioppo is a renowned jewelry designer, yoga instructor and former smoker whose pieces have been worn by some of the world’s most glamorous women, including Eva Longoria, Debra Messing and Sheryl Crow. Her latest creation, which will be available exclusively at Westin.com, supports the wearer’s commitment to personal renewal and to living smoke-free. The concept of personal renewal is about improving the body, mind and spirit, and is at the center of all of Westin’s activities, from its signature White Tea scent to its Heavenly Bed.

As with its pioneering smoke-free decision, Westin’s motivation for creating the Renewal Talisman is to make the health of its associates and guests its top priority. “The wonderful thing about the talisman is that it supports our Renewal platform and breathing free outside our hotels’ walls,” observed Sue Brush, Senior Vice President at Westin. “I wear the talisman to show my support for the many women in my life who have quit smoking and are choosing a healthier life every day.”

Mauri’s vision for the talisman artfully underscores the concept of smoke-free and the Westin brand’s Renewal experience. The piece consists of two discs crafted from sterling silver, engraved with the words ‘Breathe’ and ‘Free.’ The piece also incorporates quartz crystal and blue topaz, which promote energy and consciousness, respectively. Mauri also created a men’s version of the talisman, which replaces the silver chain with leather.

“My goal is to encourage people wearing the talisman to feel supported in their commitment to being at their personal bests. Breathing is at the center of many healthy practices, such as meditation, and is a natural expression of our life and health. I’ve quit smoking successfully myself—it is all about supporting yourself and incorporating mindful actions—rituals—into your life,” Mauri explains.

Mauri has dedicated her art to giving back and kick-started the trend of “cause jewelry” with her love letters pieces in 2002. Her mission is to help people become more conscious of their power to effect positive change. All of the proceeds from the Renewal Talisman will benefit the American Legacy Foundation.

“We salute Westin’s efforts to empower both men and women to support each others’ choices for a smoke-free lifestyle,” said Cheryl Healton, Dr. P.H., President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation. “The Renewal Talisman is a powerful emblem of the benefits of going smoke-free.”
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