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Start Your Tobacco-Free Life with the Great American Smokeout November 21

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 03:46am

Get Free Help to Stop Smoking from the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health urges smokers to join the Great American Smokeout November 21, 2013, and participate with millions of others in saying “no thanks” to tobacco for 24 hours as the first step in their journey to a life free of tobacco. Tennessee smokers can get free help from the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to support their efforts to stop smoking.

“Quitting smoking is the most important thing those who smoke can do to improve their health,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Reducing tobacco use among Tennesseans is one of our goals in making Tennessee a healthier state, and the Smokeout provides a great opportunity for people to take that critical step toward quitting.”

“We all know smoking is a leading cause of preventable death, but what is it doing to our daily lives? We have to ask ourselves, ‘What can I do today, starting now, to imagine the life I want and is smoking really a part of that?’,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “The Smokeout is a day to see ourselves enjoying life differently, to see how much easier and more convenient our lives can be without a dependence on nicotine and see the ways we can get the real fullness of our lives back. It is not about giving up something you love, it is about learning to love something better.”

Smoking is a significant public health issue in Tennessee and around the world, contributing to life-threatening health problems ranging from cancer, chronic lung and heart disease to low birth weight babies and ear infections. Data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System show 23 percent of Tennesseans report smoking regularly or occasionally. In 2012, that number climbed to 24.9 percent. While those data points are not comparable to earlier years due to a change in methods, they are still very concerning.

“It’s really hard to break the addiction to tobacco, and studies show those who get counseling have a better chance at success,” said Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program Director LaCanas Jordan. “Most smokers will make multiple quit attempts before they succeed, and the QuitLine is a wonderful free resource to support Tennesseans as they transition to a life free of tobacco and its serious health and financial costs.”

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, reduce smoking among pregnant women, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke and promote quitting among current smokers of all ages.

The Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine offers personalized support for Tennesseans 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 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 have complimentary access to relapse prevention techniques, printed resource materials, information on nicotine replacement therapies and other services to aid in the quitting process.

Really wanting to quit smoking or chewing tobacco is very important to the success one will have in quitting. Studies show smokers who survive a heart attack are the most likely to quit for good; they're very motivated. Quitting smoking provides immediate benefits, as well as the changes felt days and weeks later. Within 12 hours without a cigarette, heart rate and blood pressure drop and the carbon monoxide level in blood returns to normal. Find a reason for quitting today!

Contact the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine 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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