FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 CONTACT: Adam Liegeot, 860-524-7313

November 14, 2007                                           



Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the Connecticut QuitLine is still offering no-cost telephone-based counseling for all Connecticut residents wishing to quit using tobacco.  In addition, Governor Rell is encouraging tobacco users to “quit for a day – quit for life” during the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 15th by calling the Connecticut QuitLine for free at 1-866-END-HABIT (1-866-363-4224).  The telephone-based counseling will be offered through January 2008.


The Great American Smokeout is an annual one-day event that encourages tobacco users to quit for one day, with the hope that they will continue their quit attempt.   Approximately 16.5% of all adults in Connecticut use tobacco as well as 18.1% of high school students, and 4,900 Connecticut residents die each year from smoking-related illnesses including lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. 


“The Great American Smokeout is an excellent opportunity for tobacco users to set a quit date, and our Connecticut QuitLine can provide the support people need to be successful,” Governor Rell said.  “Telephone-based counseling services, such as those available through the QuitLine, have resulted in quit rates being five times higher than individuals who try to quit on their own." 


Connecticut residents who wish to quit using tobacco are encouraged to contact the QuitLine by calling 1-866-END-HABIT.  The Connecticut QuitLine is available between 8 AM and midnight, seven days a week, and offers services that include information about tobacco use cessation, telephone counseling sessions, referrals to local programs, and follow-up support, all at no cost to the caller.


“Over 2,500 calls have been made to the Connecticut QuitLine in the past year,” Governor Rell said.  “The QuitLine serves as a resource for tobacco users, providing free telephone-based counseling in English and Spanish, an interactive website, support and referral services.  Make the call today.”


The state recently awarded funding for local community cessation counseling programs targeting Medicaid participants and the uninsured that will be offered free of charge to program participants.  Those agencies include the Community Renewal Team, Generations Family Health Center, Hartford Hospital, Hill Health center, Hospital of Saint Raphael, Ledge Light Health District/Uncas Health District, Meriden Health Department, Middlesex Hospital, and Stamford Hospital.