For Immediate Release
December 29, 2010

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

KDHE Offers Help With New Year's Resolutions to Quit Tobacco Use

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is ready to help the thousands of Kansans who are making New Year’s Resolutions to quit using tobacco.  KDHE provides free telephone cessation counseling through the toll-free Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  While supplies last, Quitline callers may also be eligible for free nicotine patches or gum. 

During the first phone session with the Quitline, a quit coach will discuss creating a personalized plan to quit, identify coping mechanisms for quitting, and encourage the participant to complete online Web Coach® exercises if the caller has Internet access   During follow-up phone sessions, the quit coach and participant will review progress, any work done on Web Coach and set future goals.

“Quitting tobacco use may take several tries, but getting support through the Kansas Tobacco Quitline, using nicotine replacement therapy, such as the patch or nicotine gum, or other cessation medications will increase your chances of success,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, Kansas State Health Officer and KDHE Director of Health.  “Quitting tobacco use will greatly improve your health in 2011 and will help protect your family and friends from secondhand smoke.” 

The urgent need to quit tobacco use now has never been more apparent.  A recently released U.S. Surgeon General’s Report reinforces the importance of quitting smoking and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. The report, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, describes specific ways tobacco smoke damages the human body and leads to disease and death.

The Kansas Tobacco Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW is available to any Kansans who is ready to quit tobacco use and enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Follow-up calls are arranged around participants’ schedules. The Quitline also offers Web Coach,® a supplemental online tool. Web Coach® is designed to complement and enhance the phone-based counseling sessions with interactive features and social forums.

“No matter how long you have been smoking, no matter how difficult it has been for you to quit before, you can break free from your addiction to tobacco. You can definitely do this, and the Quitline is here to help,” Dr. Eberhart-Phillips said.

KDHE’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. To view the Surgeon General’s Report and related documents visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.