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Florida State Tobacco Tax Increase May Prompt Smokers to Quit Spontaneously

Saturday, September 19, 2009 General News J E 4
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PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 1 Today, the Florida state tobacco tax will increase by $1.00, the biggest of its kind in Florida history, to a total of $1.34 per pack, as part of the Protecting Florida's Health Act. The pressures of a higher price tag on cigarettes may prompt Florida smokers to try and quit spontaneously.

New data published in the journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, shows that many U.S. quit attempts are unplanned and these types of attempts can be a successful route to cessation. In the study, almost 40 percent of subjects reported that their most recent quit attempt started without any advance planning, suggesting that for some smokers, setting an advance quit date may not be as necessary as once thought.

"The study examines the possibility that while quit attempts may seem like spontaneous efforts on the surface, they may actually be the result of prolonged subconscious dissatisfaction with or concern about one's smoking. The results do not discredit planning out a quit attempt, however, a smoker needs to determine what may be the best approach to ensure long-term cessation," said Dr. Saul Shiffman, professor in the departments of psychology and pharmaceutical science at the University of Pittsburgh and study co-author. "All smokers should consider ways to manage tough situations such as cravings and withdrawal symptoms to ensure long-term success."

Smokers who make an unplanned quit attempt can improve their chances significantly by getting help and support from proven stop smoking tools such as therapeutic nicotine products like Nicorette(R), NicoDerm(R) CQ(R) and Commit(R). Consistent with their FDA-approved labeling, therapeutic nicotine products help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms, including nicotine craving, associated with quitting smoking. Smokers who quit spontaneously can also access therapeutic nicotine medicines which are available over the counter without a doctor's prescription at more than 35,000 retail outlets.

To encourage smokers to pick the approach best for them, whether they're spontaneous quitters or planners, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and the American Cancer Society, Florida Division, are teaming up to offer starter packs of Nicorette through the Florida QuitLine at 877-U-CAN-NOW (877-822-6669). The QuitLine is a smoking cessation service offered by the State of Florida for its citizens, and the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare-provided starter packs will augment a significant allocation of nicotine replacement therapy products funded by the Florida Legislature.

"With tobacco being the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Florida, this significant increase in the price of cigarettes gives the state an excellent opportunity to reduce smoking rates and improve public health," said Marty Larsen, chairman of the board and president of the American Cancer Society, Florida Division. "We are dedicated to helping Florida smokers manage the challenges of quitting smoking. By providing safe and effective cessation aids, like therapeutic nicotine, all smokers looking to quit - spontaneous and planners - have the opportunity to re-evaluate continued smoking and finally quit for good."

About the Study

A study of 1,700 adults (900 adults age 18 and over who currently smoke cigarettes every day and 800 adults, age 18 and over, who previously smoked every day but quit between one month and ten years ago) were recruited from an online U.S. market research database (Survey Sampling International, Shelton, CT) and completed an online survey. A random sample of people in the database panels were sent an e-mail that contained a link to an online survey.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, Nicorette(R) and NicoDerm(R) CQ(R), and Commit(R), as well as many medicine cabinet staples -- alli(R), Aquafresh(R), Sensodyne(R), and TUMS(R) -- which are trademarks owned by and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: http://www.gsk.com.

About Florida's QuitLine

Florida's QuitLine is a toll-free, telephone-based tobacco cessation service available at 877-U-CAN-NOW. Anyone living in Florida who wants to quit smoking can use the QuitLine, which offers counselling sessions, self-help materials and pharmacotherapy assistance. The State of Florida contracts with the American Cancer Society to provide the service.

Contacts: Mark Polisky, GolinHarris 312-729-4417 mpolisky@golinharris.com Debbie Bolding, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare 412-200-3872 deborah.g.bolding@gsk.com

SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
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