FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
November 19, 2008 William Gerrish
Hartford, CT - The Department of Public Health is encouraging Connecticut smokers to join smokers from around the nation on November 20, 2008 by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. Smokers are encouraged to quit for at least one day, hoping that they will stay tobacco-free forever.
“The Great American Smokeout is a great opportunity for people to set a date to quit smoking. By using the cessation resources available in Connecticut to help them, tobacco users can increase their chances of success,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA. “Quitting may be difficult but it is possible, and may take time. The Great American Smokeout is a great day to begin living with the benefits of being tobacco-free.”
More than 450,000 adults in Connecticut are cigarette smokers, and every year in Connecticut, more than 4,900 people die from smoking-related diseases. To assist smokers in their attempt to quit, the Department of Public Health announces the following programs that are offered free of charge in Connecticut.
- The Connecticut QuitLine at 1-866-END-HABIT (1-866-363-4224) is available to all Connecticut residents from 8 AM to midnight seven days a week. By calling the QuitLine for help, professionally trained Quit Coaches will help to prepare participants for their quit date and help them to design their own quit plan. Many Quitline Quit Coaches are former smokers themselves.
- The BecomeAnEX.org website offers an online support service that allows tobacco users to create their own quit plan, blog with other users, and ask questions of professionals. Log on to www.BecomeAnEX.org to start.
- Six community health centers have been funded to provide tobacco cessation programs to pregnant women and women of childbearing age (13-44): Community Health Center, Inc., Middletown; Fair Haven Community Health Clinic, Inc., New Haven; Generations Family Health Center, Inc., Willimantic; Hill Health Corporation, New Haven; Optimus Health Care, Inc., Bridgeport, and StayWell Health Care, Inc., Waterbury. The programs include educational materials, counseling, and quit medications if appropriate.
For more information on Connecticut tobacco use prevention initiatives, legislation and statistics, visit the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Program website at www.ct.gov/dph.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.