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This Year Make a New Year's Resolution that Won't Go Up in Smoke

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 General News J E 4
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 16 This New Year's, Tobacco FreeFlorida is urging Floridians to quit smoking and make the most important andimpactful health decision of their lives. By offering free counseling andnicotine replacement therapies through the Florida Quitline, it is easier forFloridians to resolve to quit smoking. And, if saving money is one of yourresolutions, pack-a-day smokers will avoid spending approximately $1,500 ayear.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081216/CLTU010 )

Tobacco Free Florida is an anti-tobacco campaign mandated by the Statelegislature designed to combat the pervasive problem of tobacco use in theSunshine State where each year, more than 28,000 Floridians die from smoking.Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the UnitedStates, causing heart and lung diseases, cancers, and strokes. Smoking causescoronary heart disease, the leading cause of death, and in Florida,approximately 3 million adults smoke, or 21% of the state's population.

Callers to the Quitline (1-877-U-CAN-NOW) who enroll in counseling areable to choose from patches, gum and lozenges -- a combination that doublesthe chances a smoker will quit. Bilingual counselors who are specially trainedin tobacco cessation are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a weekto help those who need a helping hand in breaking the cycle of addiction.

The Tobacco Free Florida campaign has spread the word about the Quitline'sfree counseling and pharmaceutical aids through television, radio, print,online and billboard advertising. According to Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretaryof the Florida Department of Health, the message has blanketed the state,resulting in a significant increase in call volume over the past year.

"The Quitline has received more than 40,000 calls over the past 12 months,compared to just 4,000 the previous year," said Berfield. "It's just oneindication that this campaign has been effective in reaching those who needhelp the most with their tobacco addiction." And even more promising,indicates Berfield, is that more than 82% of callers selected counseling whichsurpasses the Centers for Disease Control benchmark of 75%.

Smokers who want to quit may also want to try following this advice fromthe Centers for Disease Control:

For more information on Tobacco Free Florida, please visitwww.tobaccofreeflorida.com. For free cessation counseling and nicotinereplacement therapies, contact the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW.1. If you try to smoke fewer cigarettes, but do not stop completely, soon you'll be smoking the same amount again. Smoking "low-tar, low-nicotine" cigarettes usually does little good, either. Because nicotine is so addictive, if you switch to lower-nicotine brands you'll likely just puff harder, longer, and more often on each cigarette. The only safe choice is to quit completely. 2. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to feel in control of your life, have better health, set a good example for your children, or protect your family from breathing other people's smoke? Find a reason for quitting before you have no choice. 3. Know that it will take effort to quit smoking. Nicotine is habit forming. Half of the battle in quitting is knowing you need to quit. This knowledge will help you be more able to deal with the symptoms of withdrawal that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke. 4. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Give yourself a month to get over these feelings. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time-whatever you need to succeed.

SOURCE Tobacco Free Florida
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