Health and Family Services Cabinet
More tools to help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions
Each year many people use Jan. 1 as their start date for making positive changes in their lives. They often make resolutions to lose weight, limit alcohol, 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.
Research indicates that 70 percent of smokers would like to quit and 50 percent of those will make at least one attempt each year to quit. If quitting tobacco use is your New Year’s resolution, the quit line and other services offered through local health departments can help make quitting easier.
“Our hope is that people will think about the effects tobacco is having on their health and give some serious consideration to quitting,” said Irene Centers, program manager for the tobacco cessation and prevention program in the Department for Public Health (DPH). “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.”
Health organizations and health departments across Kentucky and the nation are gearing up to assist smokers who want to begin 2006 smoke-free. 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. All health departments in the state offer the Cooper/Clayton program and many will start new groups in early January.
Tobacco use and dependence is the leading preventable cause of death in Kentucky and the nation. Nearly 8,000 Kentuckians die annually as a result of tobacco-related disease.
“It’s important to remember that these are more than just numbers,” said DPH 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.”
A statewide telephone service, 1-800-QUIT NOW, provides brief intervention and support for people who want to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. Highly trained cessation specialists answer calls Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Callers to the quit line after regular hours can leave a message and a cessation specialist will return their call the next business day.
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. Parental consent is required for callers under 18.
Quit lines are one aspect of a comprehensive tobacco cessation network of services. Scientific reviews have established that proactive telephone counseling through quit lines is an effective cessation method. Additionally, the cessation specialists staffing the quit lines are master’s-level counselors who have extensive experience.
Quit line (1-800-QUIT NOW) 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.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Nearly 8,000 Kentuckians die prematurely each year of tobacco use. Smoking is a major risk factor for the four leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic pulmonary disease.
Visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/tobacco.htm for information on other tobacco cessation options.