November 17: Great American Smokeout

Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011 ---- 6:55 a.m.

MADISON—Nov. 17 is the Great American Smokeout, and Wisconsin residents can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free coaching and medicine from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line to help them quit smoking or chewing tobacco. The Quit Line provides free coaching and also ships a two-week starter kit with booklets and medications at no charge.

The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line has fielded more than 150,000 calls since its inception in May 2001. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, killing more than 7,000 Wisconsinites every year and 445,000 nationwide. Despite this, more than 46 million Americans still smoke, including 900,000 Wisconsinites. Nearly 7,000 Wisconsin kids become new smokers every year, and 15 percent of pregnant Wisconsinites smoke.

“Research shows 70 percent of smokers want to quit,” said Dr. Michael Fiore, director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI). “Problem is, nicotine can be as addictive as cocaine or heroin, so it’s very difficult to quit. But sometimes, all a smoker needs is a helping hand at the right time. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect time to quit, and the Quit Line is here to help.”

Visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more information. The Quit Line is managed by UW-CTRI and funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

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