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Smokers to Kick Habit on Reality Show

Many people try to quit smoking, and this fall a handful will try to kick the habit as part of a reality show.

“Cold Turkey,” a 10-episode series for PAX TV, will sequester several smokers for three weeks and chronicle what happens as they try to give up smoking.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
Participants won’t be surrounded by family and friends—only by fellow smokers after the same goal, which is to quit smoking and take home a cash prize (the details of which are currently undisclosed).
 
The series, which brings the participants together under false pretext, will be executive produced by Stuart Krasnow and John Holmes, the makers of reality series “Average Joe,” which had two installments on NBC. It will be hosted by A.J. Benza, former host of the E! show “Mysteries and Scandals.”
 
“A series that is sure to have television watchers talking this fall, ‘Cold Turkey’ reveals a new and positive side to reality, exploring the world of self-esteem and keeping one’s word,” according to a PAX press release. “Beyond the cash prize, what contestants win at the series’ end is the chance at a better life and pride in knowing that they kicked the habit.”
 
More than 46 million Americans are smokers, according to the American Cancer Society. The ACS also reported that each year 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, 35 percent try to, and less than five percent succeed.
 
“Cold Turkey” will be one of three reality shows to air this fall on PAX TV, which bills itself as a family-friendly network. The other two are “Model Citizens,” in which a group of models tries to solve a community problem, and “Second Verdict,” which presents a real-life felony case to a new “jury” to see if the show participants deliver the same verdict as the real jury.
 
These series mark PAX’s first foray into reality programming. The network reaches 89 percent of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />U.S. television households through broadcast television and cable and satellite systems.
 
“Cold Turkey” was created by Emmy-winner Jeremy Wallace and Murray Valeriano.
 
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.
 
PAX TV’s Web site is here.