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Tennesseans Urged to Participate in the Great American Smokeout November 15

Monday, November 05, 2012 | 03:33am

Get Free Help to Kick the Habit from the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health urges smokers to join the Great American Smokeout November 15, 2012, and participate with millions of others in saying “no thanks” to tobacco for 24 hours. Tennessee smokers can get their plan to quit in place now with free help from the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine.

“Smoking is a preventable cause of illness and still causes nearly one in five deaths in the US. Encouraging smoking friends and family to join the Smokeout helps them take a positive step toward a healthier life for their families and themselves,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “It’s very tough to break the addiction to tobacco, and studies show those who get counseling have a better chance at success. Most smokers will make multiple quit attempts before they succeed, and the QuitLine is a wonderful free resource to help people transition to a life free of tobacco and its serious health and financial costs.”

Smoking is a significant public health issue in Tennessee, contributing to life-threatening health problems including cancer and heart disease. Data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System show 23 percent of Tennesseans report smoking regularly or occasionally.

TDH leads statewide efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. Along with support for the QuitLine, TDH tobacco control activities include advocacy, education and community-based projects designed to prevent youth initiation of smoking, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke and promote quitting among current smokers of all ages.

As an example of TDH efforts to reduce smoking rates, the Bedford County Health Department has established a smoke-free campus effective Aug. 1, 2012. While the clinic has long been a smoke-free facility, local health leaders have extended the smoke-free area around the clinic building as part of a primary prevention initiative to prevent tobacco-related diseases in the community. The Van Buren County Health Department became a tobacco-fee campus effective Nov. 1, 2012. Formerly designated smoking areas at the facility have been eliminated, and use of all tobacco products is prohibited on the clinic property, including parking lots.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine offers personalized support for Tennessee residents who want to quit smoking by connecting them with trained quit coaches to guide them through the quitting process. Clients receive ongoing professional coaching via individually scheduled calls with a quit coach personally assigned to them. Contact the QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit online at This convenient and confidential service is free and available to Tennessee residents in both English and Spanish. The service is also available for the deaf and hard-of-hearing at TTY:  1-877-559-3816.

QuitLine clients also have complimentary access to relapse prevention techniques, printed resource materials, information on nicotine replacement therapies and other services to aid in the quitting process.

While quitting for at least one day for the Great American Smokeout, participants can think about the health improvements that happen almost immediately after quitting smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting tobacco, heart rate and blood pressure drop. In 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal. Two weeks to three months after quitting, circulation improves and lung function increases. One year after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.

Contact the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine today at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or This statewide toll-free telephone tobacco cessation treatment program is made possible through the Tennessee Department of Health. There is no charge to callers for services and callers have unlimited access to a quit coach through the QuitLine. Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central time.

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