Miss. Quitline celebrates annual Smokeout

Published 10:09 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making the decision to quit using tobacco is difficult, but the choice is even harder without support.

Moral support and expert help can make the difference between success and failure. The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline encourages smokers to join this year’s theme, “Quit Like a Champion,” and use today’s Great American Smokeout as their day to stop using tobacco.

Over the years, the Great American Smokeout has encouraged millions of Mississippians and Americans to put down their packs for one tobacco-free, breathable day. This year, Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions will encourage area pharmacies to participate by not selling tobacco products for 24 hours.

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“An estimated 561,100 Mississippians are cigarette smokers, but a smoker who wants to quit can double their chances of success with expert help from the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline,” said Amy Winter, director of the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Office of Tobacco Control.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. The collaboration of communities and pharmacies to support those who desire to quit can reduce the number of deaths from tobacco-related diseases. Each year in Mississippi, smoking accounts for an estimated 5,400 premature deaths, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“Having support is very important when attempting to stop using tobacco,” said Lori Carter, director of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Copiah and Lincoln Counties. “The participation from area pharmacies will help demonstrate the impact tobacco has on a smoker’s health and daily routine.”

For even more help and support, smokers who want to quit smoking and start on the path toward a healthier life can use the “Quit for Life” smart phone app offered by the American Cancer Society to reach a round-the-clock support network.

If you want to quit using tobacco, contact the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to receive free counseling and medications, such as nicotine patches or gum. For more information, visit www.quitlinems.com.