FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2013

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


Great American Smokeout, Nov. 21

KDHE Encourages Smokers to Quit

TOPEKA— The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages people to quit smoking as part of the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout® on Thursday, Nov. 21. To help smokers who are ready to quit, the department offers cessation support and information online at www.KSquit.org or toll-free at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

Smoking is a risk factor for many chronic diseases including lung cancer, oral cancer, kidney cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition to the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21, November is also COPD Awareness Month.

COPD is a serious lung disease that over time makes it difficult to breathe. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the disease develops slowly and worsens over time — causing many to dismiss symptoms and delay seeking diagnosis and treatment until COPD is in its late stages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2011.

“One of the most common risk factors for COPD is a history of smoking,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. “While never smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of COPD and other chronic diseases associated with smoking, for those who smoke, quitting now will help reduce your risk. Use the Great American Smokeout date as your stop date! Going through change is easier with a partner or in a group, so recruit others to join you in your plan to quit smoking. In addition to quitting smoking, talk to your health care provider about testing for COPD, as early detection and treatment can help manage the disease.”

When Kansans are ready to quit using tobacco, the Kansas Tobacco Quitline is ready to help online at www.KSquit.org or by phone 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). The Quitline is a service provided at no cost to Kansas residents. Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except major holidays) online or by phone.

KDHE’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program manages the Kansas Tobacco Quitline and provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information on 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. Visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better website at http://COPD.nhlbi.nih.gov for more information about COPD.