The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) today invited all Connecticut tobacco users to join smokers from around the nation participating in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® on November 17, 2016. The Great American Smokeout® encourages tobacco users to quit for at least one day, with the hope that they will stay tobacco-free forever.

"Quitting tobacco is never easy. It’s very difficult to wake up and say ‘today is the day I will stop smoking.’ The Great American Smokeout® gives tobacco users a date to quit, and the security of knowing that they are not quitting alone," said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. "I strongly encourage tobacco users to utilize the cessation resources that DPH has available to increase their chances of quitting successfully."

The Great American Smokeout encourages tobacco users to take the first step to successfully quit for a lifetime. To assist tobacco users, DPH has several programs available free of charge to Connecticut residents: 

The Connecticut QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) has professionally trained Quit Coaches, many of whom are former smokers themselves, available to prepare participants for their quit date, which includes helping them to design an individualized quit plan. Registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is also online registration at and a texting program to help stay on track. 

Local tobacco use cessation programs provide face-to-face counseling services. To look for a location near you, go to for the program list. Also, there are several smartphone apps available to help guide people through the quit process. See the options available at to start.

A 2012 US Surgeon General Report states that each day in the United States, over 3,800 young people under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and over 1,000 youth under age 18 become daily cigarette smokers.

"One of the best ways to end tobacco use is by preventing its use in the first place," said DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon. "Through our Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program we are helping communities stop the sale of tobacco products to our youth. By enforcing our laws, we can stop smoking before it starts and will no longer need days like the Great American Smokeout."

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program (TPEP) works with communities to inform retailers and the public about laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors and support prevention through compliance inspections, education and awareness. This year, the retailer violation rate reported to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) in the Annual Synar Report was 10.7%. This means that Connecticut tobacco retailers were compliant with the state law 89.3% of the time.

For more information about quitting or other related tobacco use topics, please visit the Department of Public Health’s website at "Quitting Tobacco Use".