Health and Family Services Cabinet
Make Giving Up Tobacco Your News Year’s Resolution
Quit Line Can Help Smokers Kick the Habit
Each year many people use the beginning of the new year to make positive changes in their lives. Some people will make resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, save money or quit smoking.
If your New Year’s resolution is to remove tobacco from your life, Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) can help you reach that goal.
“The nicotine in tobacco is one of the most powerful addicting chemicals,” explains Jan Beauchamp, coordinator for Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line. “While many people will want to quit, without support, medication or counseling as few as 5 percent will be successful. The Quit Line has helped many Kentuckians break their addiction to nicotine.”
Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line is a statewide telephone service providing free counseling and support for people who want to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. Highly trained cessation specialists answer calls from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday helping smokers develop a quit plan.
“Our hope is that people will think about the effects tobacco is having on their health and give some serious consideration to quitting,” said Beauchamp. “The first of the year is a great opportunity to stop smoking, start living a healthier lifestyle and create a healthier environment in your home.”
Research indicates that 70 percent of smokers want to quit, and 50 percent of those will make at least one attempt each year to quit. To assist them, health organizations and health departments across Kentucky will offer smoking cessation programs for smokers who want to become tobacco-free in 2009.
Tobacco use and dependence is the leading preventable cause of death in Kentucky and the nation. Nearly 8,000 Kentuckians die each year because of tobacco-related diseases. Eighty-five percent of all lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking, and Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer deaths. Smoking is a major risk factor for the four leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“It’s important to remember that these are more than just numbers,” said Department for Public Health Commissioner William D. Hacker, M.D. “These people are our friends, neighbors and family members. They should not suffer and die of diseases that could have been prevented.”
The Quit Line offers individual counseling for tobacco users who are ready to quit. After the initial call, smokers may receive up to five scheduled callbacks 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. Parental consent is required for callers under 18. Callers to the Quit Line after regular hours can leave a message and a cessation specialist will return their call the next business day.
Quit Line services are available in English and Spanish. TDY/TDD is available at (800) 969-1393. Counseling and materials are provided at no charge to callers.
For employers wanting to help their employees quit, information is available through the Quit Line and the local health department. Group sessions and cessation materials can be made available at the worksite.
Visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/cd/tobacco.htm for information on other tobacco cessation options.