Baton Rouge: The American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout® encourages smokers to set a quit date, a day they make a plan to quit for good. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' Tobacco Control Program is supporting this event by encouraging all tobacco users in Louisiana to get help so they can successfully quit.
"Tobacco use is the top cause of preventable death in the world, and people who smoke or use other tobacco products are putting themselves at risk for debilitating chronic disease and a shorter lifespan," said DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "Today is the day to take the first step of owning your own health and make a commitment to quit. You can make a toll-free call to the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW and speak with a trained coach who will give you the support and encouragement you need to end this deadly habit."
By calling the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), tobacco users can get support from a highly trained Quit Coach, who will guide and support them through an individualized plan. Coaches, many of whom are former tobacco users themselves, provide support by:
- Preparing participants for their quit dates
- Helping develop an individualized Quit Plan
- Providing tips and phone support to help callers create a tobacco-free living environment
- Offering advice and information on medications that may help with tobacco withdrawal symptoms
The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline offers confidential coaching support at no cost for all Louisiana residents ages 13 and older. Registration and Quit Coaches are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Smoking kills 443,000 Americans and 6,500 Louisianans each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Lung Association. Tobacco doesn't just kill; it leads to many chronic diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and lung disease, all of which can cause long-term suffering.
According to the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, nearly 70 percent of current smokers say they want to quit, but only about 4-to-7 percent of smokers who try to quit without help will have long-term success. Research shows that by using a combination of behavioral counseling (such as the Quitline) and medication, individuals making an attempt to quit can more than double their chances of success.
For more information about the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, visit www.QuitWithUsLA.org or call 1.800.QUIT.NOW.
Great American Smokeout
Every year, on the third Thursday in November, the Great American Smokeout encourages tobacco users to take the first step to quit for a lifetime. The Great American Smokeout grew out of an event in 1974, when the editor of the Monticello Times newspaper in Minnesota organized the first D-Day, or Don't Smoke Day. A few years earlier, Arthur P. Mullaney of Randolph, Mass., asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money not spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund.
Two years after the first Don't Smoke Day, on Nov. 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society successfully convinced almost 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That event marked the first of what would become an annual event across the nation in 1977.
Louisiana Tobacco Quitline
The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline is a service provided through a partnership between the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals' Tobacco Control Program and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. The two programs coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing evidence-based tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, offering services for people who are ready to quit, and developing statewide media campaigns to help reduce the excessive burden of tobacco use on the state's resources, and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information about the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, visit www.QuitWithUsLA.org or call 1.800.QUIT.NOW.
For information about the Great American Smokeout and the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.