For Immediate Release
November 18, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Urges Smokers To Quit During Great American Smokeout, Nov. 20

Quitting Smoking Will Save Money

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is encouraging people to quit smoking as part of the 33rd Annual American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® on Thursday, November 20.  To provide support to tobacco users who are ready to quit, the department offers the 24-hour, toll-free Kansas Tobacco Quitline (1-866-KAN-STOP or 1-866-526-7867) operated by the American Cancer Society.

“Quitting smoking is difficult, but it may very well save your life,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “After a person quits smoking, the health benefits begin almost immediately and continue to increase for many years. Quitting reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.”

In addition to protecting your health, the money you save by quitting could be substantial. For example, a person who smokes a pack a day spends approximately $31.50 per week on cigarettes. This is equivalent to $135 a month, $1,643 a year or $16,425 over ten years.  The American Cancer Society provides an online resource to help smokers calculate what they spend on cigarettes at www.cancer.org/Healthy/toolsandcalculators/calculators/app/smoking-cost-calculator.aspx.

When Kansans are ready to quit smoking, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline will provide support and work with the caller to develop a plan to quit.  American Cancer Society quit coaches will help during one-on-one telephone counseling sessions.  Kansans can call the Quitline anytime day or night to start the process. 

Once enrolled in the free service, callers will work with the same quit coach who will set up sessions that fit the caller’s schedule.  During these sessions, callers will discuss the reasons they want to quit and find ways to handle any barriers. Studies have found that using a tobacco Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco.   

The KDHE Tobacco Use Prevention Program provides resources and assistance to community coalitions to develop, enhance and evaluate state and local tobacco prevention initiatives.  For additional information about the Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program, visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco. More information about the Great American Smokeout can be found at www.greatamericansmokeout.org.