Take the first steps to becoming tobacco free

Take the first steps to becoming tobacco free

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70 percent of smokers really want to quit. Thursday, the Alabama Department of Public Health is encouraging those smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout.

The Great American Smokeout challenges smokers to take the first step by quitting for the day or making a plan to quit for good.

In Alabama, 21.4 percent of adults are smokers compared to the national rate of 15 percent. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the nation and kills more than 8,600 adults in this state each year, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state itself spends more than $1.8 billion in health care costs directly caused by smoking.

ADPH wants to help smokers quit tobacco and has set up a Tobacco Quitline to help. Callers can dial 1-800-Quit Now (784-8669) for free help. Quitline will include an individualized quit plan, master level counseling, and up to eight weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches for the caller is medically eligible and enrolled.

"Our Quitline has helped thousands of callers to quit," said Julie Hare, ADPH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program's cessation manager. "Our counselors can help smokers make a plan to quit. With the counseling and NRT, participants are twice as likely to remain tobacco free," she said.

Smokers can also register for quitting services by clicking this link. For more information about quitting tobacco, click this link or call 1-800-Quit-Now. The Quitline is open from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

The challenge has been sponsored by the American Cancer Society since 1970

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