Health and Family Services Cabinet
It’s Time for New Year’s Resolutions
Kentucky Offers Resources to Those Trying to Give Up Tobacco
As 2012 approaches, so does the human resolve to make life changes, such as losing weight, increasing exercise – or quitting smoking and tobacco products.
If quitting smoking tops your list of 2012 resolutions, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) recommends the use of one or a combination of available tobacco cessation resources. These range from group cessation to telephone coaching to online cessation and are available at no cost to all Kentuckians.
“The first of the year is a great opportunity to make healthy lifestyle changes,” said Irene Centers, manager of the Health Promotion Branch in DPH. “Quitting smoking is the single most important step smokers can take to improve their health.”
Research indicates that 70 percent of smokers would like to quit, and 44 percent of smokers in Kentucky made at least one attempt to quit last year. Centers encourages smokers to seek the help of assistance programs in achieving their goals to give up cigarettes or other tobacco products.
“Kentucky’s smoking rate – at 24.8 percent – remains the second highest in the country, and we have an excessively high population of people being exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes,” said Centers. “We strongly encourage those trying to quit smoking to use quit assistance resources. It’s not only the best decision for an individual’s personal health, but for the health of those around them.”
If quitting tobacco use is your New Year’s resolution, Kentucky’s Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT NOW, and the Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking offered through most local health departments can help make quitting easier.
Health organizations and health departments across Kentucky and the nation are gearing up to assist smokers who want to begin 2012 free of tobacco. Programs like the Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking combine nicotine replacement therapy with group counseling and behavioral modification over a 12-week period to help smokers quit. Most health departments in the state offer the Cooper/Clayton program and many will start new groups in early January.
If you are a tobacco user who has decided to quit in 2012, 1-800-QUIT NOW is a free service that can help you reach that goal. When you call, a trained cessation specialist will work with you to help you quit, deal with withdrawal symptoms and resist relapses.
Kentucky’s Tobacco Quitline is available statewide, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Eastern time. After regular hours, callers can leave a message and their call will be returned. The Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW) services are available in English and Spanish. For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, TDY/TDD is available at 800-969-1393.
Group sessions and cessation materials can be made available at the workplace to employers who want to help their employees quit. More information about this option is available through the Quitline and local health departments.