New Initiative Inspires Tennessee Tobacco Users to Quit

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 | 01:50pm

Tennessee Quit Week is Feb. 22-26, 2016

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health Tobacco Use, Prevention and Control Program is launching a new Statewide Tobacco-Free Coalition. The coalition consists of key stakeholders and community partners from around the state whose purpose is to identify strengths, gaps and opportunities for tobacco control in Tennessee.

The Statewide Tobacco-Free Coalition launch aligns with Governor Bill Haslam proclaiming February 22-26, 2016 Tennessee Quit Week. The theme for the week-long campaign is “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” to celebrate Tennesseans who have quit tobacco and inspire more people to join them. It is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. These proven, effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting. TDH is emphasizing the importance of teamwork with health professionals to help smokers quit for good.  

“The truth is, for any health care provider in Tennessee about one in four patients or clients are regularly using a tobacco product that can make their lives miserable and shorter and reduces their incomes to boot,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We all benefit from caring and encouragement. Clear and consistent messages from physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals make a difference. The first, fifth or 15th time we ask may be the one that changes a life, so please ask about tobacco.”

Through the Tennessee Tobacco Use, Prevention and Control Program, smokers have the option to call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, use a web-based program or attend in-person counseling services and may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. Call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to speak with a counselor who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a quit plan. For more information and resources including an online cessation tool, visit

Why Team Up to Quit?

  • People who work with their health care professionals are ultimately more successful in attempts to quit tobacco use.
  • Tobacco users who receive treatment report higher satisfaction with overall health care received compared to untreated tobacco users, according to the U.S. Public Health Service.
  • Smokers who quit can add up to 10 years to their life expectancy.

The Impact of Tobacco in Tennessee:

  • Tobacco claims at least 30 Tennessee lives each day.
  • If current smoking rates continue, 125,000 Tennessee children alive today who are younger than 18 years of age will die prematurely as a result of smoking.
  • In 2009, the annual health care costs in Tennessee directly caused by smoking equaled $2.67 billion.


The first Tennessee Tobacco Quit Week takes place February 22-26. Learn more and find a calendar of Quit Week events at Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #QuITTInTimeTN.  

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at