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

December 16, 2008

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ — This New Year’s, Tobacco Free
Florida is urging Floridians to quit smoking and make the most important and
impactful health decision of their lives. By offering free counseling and
nicotine replacement therapies through the Florida Quitline, it is easier for
Floridians to resolve to quit smoking. And, if saving money is one of your
resolutions, pack-a-day smokers will avoid spending approximately $1,500 a

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Tobacco Free Florida is an anti-tobacco campaign mandated by the State
legislature designed to combat the pervasive problem of tobacco use in the
Sunshine State where each year, more than 28,000 Floridians die from smoking.
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United
, causing heart and lung diseases, cancers, and strokes. Smoking causes
coronary 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 are
able to choose from patches, gum and lozenges — a combination that doubles
the chances a smoker will quit. Bilingual counselors who are specially trained
in tobacco cessation are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
to 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’s
free counseling and pharmaceutical aids through television, radio, print,
online and billboard advertising. According to Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretary
of 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 one
indication that this campaign has been effective in reaching those who need
help the most with their tobacco addiction.” And even more promising,
indicates Berfield, is that more than 82% of callers selected counseling which
surpasses the Centers for Disease Control benchmark of 75%.

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

    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
    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.

For more information on Tobacco Free Florida, please visit
www.tobaccofreeflorida.com. For free cessation counseling and nicotine
replacement therapies, contact the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW.

SOURCE Tobacco Free Florida

Source: newswire

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