For Immediate Release
November 12, 2010

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

KDHE Urges Smokers To Quit During Great American Smokeout, Nov. 18

Smoke-free Environments Are Supportive

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is encouraging people to quit smoking as part of the 35th American Cancer Society Great American Smokeoutâ on Thursday, November 18.  To provide assistance to tobacco users who are ready to quit, the department offers the 24-hour, toll-free Kansas Tobacco Quitline operated by Free and Clear, the healthy behaviors company.

“The Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act has provided a more supportive environment for Kansas smokers to quit,” said John W. Mitchell, Acting Secretary of KDHE. “Studies show that more than half of Kansas smokers want to quit. Now that most public places are smoke-free it is easier for Kansans who are trying to quit to avoid the trigger of others smoking around them.”

According to an American Cancer Society report, smokers who quit can expect to live as many as ten years longer (that’s ten more birthdays) than those who continue to smoke. To encourage Kansans to become or remain smoke-free the American Cancer Society has set up a Kansas 2010 Facebook Challenge. The goal is to obtain 2,010 pledges in year 2010. Visit the fan page at www.facebook.com/2010KansasGASO  and select the “like” button to pledge.

When Kansans are ready to quit smoking, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) is ready to help.  The Quitline is a service provided at no cost to callers and enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  A counselor works with the caller during one-on-one phone calls to prepare for a quit date and create a plan to fight cravings and face other challenges. Follow-up calls are arranged around participants’ schedules. The Quitline recently added Web Coach as an online component.  Web Coach is designed to complement and enhance the phone-based counseling sessions with interactive features, evidence-based content and social forums.  Studies have found that using a tobacco Quitline can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco.   

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program provides resources and assistance to community coalitions to develop, enhance and evaluate state and local tobacco prevention and cessation 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.