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Health and Family Services Cabinet
DPH Supports Campaign Encouraging Tobacco Users to “Be a Quitter”

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 31, 2006  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace, (502) 564-6786  

 Smokers and tobacco users trying to quit will soon have a potent ally – fellow smokers.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the “Quit Now” Challenge, a new initiative featuring inspirational stories of people who want to quit smoking. Now through Nov. 17, 1-800-QUIT-NOW will accept submissions from cigarette smokers and other tobacco users explaining in their own words why they want to “Quit Now!”

“We are extremely excited about this new campaign and the potential it has to impact people’s lives,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell. “Smokers who are trying to quit need a tremendous amount of support and it makes sense for that support to come from others who are experiencing the same thing.”

 Interested participants can visit for specific instructions on how to submit video entries. Successful quitters whose stories are chosen will be announced Feb. 1, 2007.

The “Quit Now” Challenge, part of the “Be a Quitter” campaign, enhances NCI and CDC’s ongoing National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines initiative. Participants – chosen among men and women between 18 and 29 years old – will be available for local television, radio and newspaper interviews.

These participants also will be encouraged to help others quit by posting daily diaries and sharing their personal stories of QUIT-NOW experiences on the official 1-800-QUIT-NOW Web site. Callers to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a single point of access to state-based quitlines, will continue to receive practical, effective help quitting smoking, informational materials, and referrals to other resources.

Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is a statewide telephone service that provides brief intervention and support for people who want to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. Callers, both smokers and non-smokers, can receive information about tobacco dependence and treatment options. Tobacco cessation counselors staff phone lines Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1-800-QUIT NOW is available in English and Spanish. TDD is available for the deaf and hard of hearing at 1-800-969-1393.

“We are pleased for Kentuckians to have this opportunity to share their personal stories and insights with others,” said Irene Centers, program coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. “This is a good time for Kentuckians who want to become non-smokers to gain national recognition for their efforts as well as make an impact in the lives of others who want to quit smoking.”

The quit line offers a one-on-one proactive counseling program for tobacco users who are ready to quit. After the initial call, smokers may receive up to five scheduled call backs from their counselor. For smokers considering quitting, the quit line staff will provide information about tobacco use and treatment options. Counselors will provide state and local resources to callers as another option for tobacco cessation.  Counseling and materials are provided at no charge to callers.

Participants who quit smoking by the challenge’s end will be selected to share their success stories. The NCI and CDC hope that these stories will help further increase quit rates in the United States. The North American Quitline Consortium, corporate partners and local organizations in communities across the country are key collaborators in 1-800-QUIT-NOW, providing their expertise to help raise awareness about this toll-free access number.

In addition to the “Quit Now” Challenge, television and radio public service announcements, an online educational video, print materials, banner ads, and a Web site are part of the tobacco cessation campaign effort.

“Quitting tobacco is not something anyone should have to face alone,” said Corinne Husten, M.D., M.P.H., acting director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “It’s like a journey, filled with ups and downs.  But with the proper coaching and support, people can quit.” 
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For more information about tobacco cessation, visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

For more information about tobacco, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Tobacco and Cancer home page at or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS) home page at

For information about cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute Web site at, or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

Kentucky Department for Public Health, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program















Last Updated 10/31/2006