Indianapolis WTHR Channel 13: Mellencamp Facebook Campaign Gains Traction

Bloomington - You can help John Mellencamp stop smoking.

His teenage son made a bet on Facebook to help him kick the habit.

John Mellencamp has thrilled concert crowds and made it to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but there's one goal the Hoosier hasn't been able to accomplish.

For decades, he's struggled to stop smoking.

"I think that he sees it as a challenge he really needs to meet," said his wife, Elaine-Irwin Mellencamp.

Now that personal challenge is the focus of a public plea from his 14-year-old son, Speck.

The youngest Mellencamp's mission started as a side bet at home.

"He said, 'Now Dad, so if I made a Facebook group and I got 100,000 people to join it, would you quit smoking?' And I think John just kind of flippantly, 'Oh blah blah blah', wasn't even paying attention to it, and apparently I guess he didn't agree to the 100,000, so there was no negotiation. It went from 100,000 to a million," Irwin-Mellencamp said.

Her husband took the deal: one million people join, and the rocker will kick the habit.

It's taken off after just over a week, with nearly 200,000 members as of Wednesday night.

"It was nice to see because it was like 300 people, then it was 900 people and so it was really a big deal when it got to be more. And I said, 'John, he's got 3,000 people!' And now he's over 100,000," Irwin-Mellencamp said. "I joined!"

Elaine Mellencamp says her husband's promise won't be easy should the site hit a million, but says he is already cutting back as the numbers continue to grow.

"I think he thought that it was such an impossible task that he didn't put a lot of thought into it, so I guess you need to be careful what kind of bets you make with your kids. And we'll make sure he honors it too," she said.

Irwin-Mellencamp says her son's Facebook page has become bigger than its original intention. It's now inspired others to stop smoking too.

But that public forum still carries a very personal message from son to father: if one million people can't convince him to quit, maybe one person can.

"I think he really understands what it means to his son."
Click HERE to watch the video interview on the website