The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing cancer risk.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults. In 2013, an estimated 12.4 million people in the United States were current cigar smokers.
More than 10,000 people die in Georgia every year from tobacco-related illnesses—that’s more than all the deaths from alcohol, cocaine, heroin, AIDS, murder, suicide, auto accidents and fires combined. Despite these chilling statistics, 18 percent of Georgia adults smoke. An estimated 30,000 Georgia children begin smoking every year.
More than about 50 percent of the roughly 43 million U.S. smokers want to quit. Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease where quitters face periods of relapse and remission. Adult cigarette use is 24% in Georgia and the Tobacco Quit Line is a resource to help Georgians quit using tobacco.
The Tobacco Quit Line provides free counseling, a resource library, support and referral services for tobacco users. It is available for all Georgia residents age 18 or older and concerned parents of adolescents using tobacco. The Tobacco Quit Line is funded by the master tobacco settlement through the state’s Tobacco Use Prevention Section in partnership with the Georgia Cancer Coalition. It has no commercial bias and no products to promote. As a caller, you will receive free, professional support that’s tailored to your needs.
At the Quit Line, a counselor conducts an initial interview with a caller to determine tobacco usage and willingness to quit. An assessment is made based on the caller’s needs and multiple options are presented. Callers will receive a customized quit plan, including up to five additional counseling phone calls. Up-todate information about physician-recommended pharmacological support, such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and other items are available. A Tobacco Quit Kit, including materials tailored to the caller’s readiness to quit is also available.
So, stop smoking and start dialing: call the Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP.
This article originally appeared in the November issue of the EAST COBBER magazine, on page 55. Click HERE to access the digital edition.