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Resolve to Live Smoke Free in the New Year

Wednesday, January 02, 2008 | 06:00pm

Kick off the New Year by kicking the habit in 2008! Quitting smoking is a popular New Year’s resolution, and the Tennessee Department of Health can increase your odds of keeping it. All it takes is a telephone call to the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669.)

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine is a coaching service available at no charge to all Tennessee residents. The QuitLine’s trained, credentialed quit coaches guide callers through all phases of the quitting process and help them create an individualized plan to stop smoking. Callers work with the same coach throughout the quitting process to received personalized assistance to kick tobacco addiction.

“Each year, many Tennesseans resolve to make this the year they will quit tobacco,” said Donna Henry, director of Health Promotion. “By calling the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, individuals will be guided through a tailor-made quitting program by a trained quit coach who will help them to their quit date and beyond. With this crucial support, the likelihood of success greatly increases.”

Tobacco users who call the QuitLine to stop smoking or using other tobacco products will join thousands of other Tennesseans who are using this service to help them succeed. Call volume to the QuitLine has soared since implementation of the Non-Smokers Protection Act and an increase in the cigarette tax this year. More than 3,000 people called the QuitLine in October 2007 alone.

In addition to calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW for support, the Tennessee Department of Health offers the following tips to encourage tobacco users who are preparing to quit in 2008:

  • Break habits before your quit date. Try to change your routine and take cigarettes and other tobacco products out of the picture. Instead of smoking in the car or house, put cigarettes in the trunk or leave them outside so you are not tempted to pick up the pack.
  • Find a substitute and delay. When you feel a craving to use tobacco, breathe. Take ten rhythmic breaths and imagine your lungs filling with clean air. Also try drinking a glass of water, reading a list of your reasons to quit, journaling, or chewing on a toothpick or nicotine replacement.
  • Change the scenery. Spend as much time as you can in non-smoking places. Remove yourself as much as possible from the situation that has triggered your craving.
  • Think positively. When feeling tempted to pick up a cigarette and/or dip, chew or rub, hear yourself say “no” and tell yourself how proud you are for quitting. Review your reasons to quit and remember why you want a healthier life.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. The call center will be closed New Year’s Day. QuitLine services for the deaf and hard of hearing are available by calling 1-877-559-3816.

For more information on quitting tobacco use and the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, visit the Web site at http://health.state.tn.us/tobaccoquitline.htm.

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