Now is the time to quit smoking

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Now is the time to quit smoking

The 36th Great American Smokeout on Thursday is a great time for smokers to make a plan to quit, or to look ahead and actually stop smoking for that day.

With master settlement funds administered through the state Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Commission, Hoosiers can access the free 1-800-QUITNOW line to help them be successful in this process.

The Quitline provides four scheduled counseling calls, along with two free weeks of nicotine replacement therapy patches or gum for persons who are uninsured, on Medicaid or Medicare. Pregnant women receive a series of 10 calls from the trained behavioral staff, before and after the birth.

For more information about the Quitline, or to sign up as a “preferred provider” business, organization or medical office to assist employees, clients, or patients, call Healthy Communities of La Porte County at (219) 326-6260.

By taking advantage of the free Quitline, smokers not only improve their own health, but also impact others through reducing secondhand smoke.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, and more than 60 of these are known or suspected to cause cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, which sponsors the annual Smokeout event, secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are currently non-smokers, and about 3,400 lung cancer deaths as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 46 million Americans still smoke. However, nearly 80 percent of tobacco users in Indiana say they would like to quit.

The annual Great American Smokeout provides a special national recognition of these intentions, and the free Indiana Quitline is a great tool to help persons turn intent into action.

— Sandra Gleim,

Executive Director, Healthy Communities of La Porte County

Coordinator, La Porte County Drug Free Partnership