Tobacco quit line offers help

Published 1:18 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

Sylvester, Ga.—Even though smoking rates have declined nationally in recent years, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death.

Fortunately, a free counseling service is available for Georgians who want to quit, said Southwest Health District Health Promotion Coordinator David Cooper.

“Individuals who want to kick the habit are encouraged to use the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line,” Cooper said.

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The service, established in 2001, provides services and resources to Georgians seeking to quit all tobacco products.

“This is the time of year when many of us begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions, and deciding to stop using tobacco products is one of the healthiest decisions you can make,” Cooper said. “Each year in Georgia, more than 10,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases including cancer, heart disease and emphysema.”

Nationally, smoking accounts for an estimated 438,000 premature deaths, including 38,000 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of second-hand smoke, he said.

Among infants and children, conditions caused by second-hand smoke such as ear and respiratory problems, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) increase nonsmokers’ smoking-related illness costs.

“The Quit Line offers services to tobacco users aged 13 years and older, including the hearing impaired and Spanish-speaking callers,” said Cooper.

For more information about how to quit smoking, please contact the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at 877-270-STOP in English, 877-2NO-FUME in Spanish and 877-777-6534 for the hearing impaired.