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More N.C. Smokers Tried to Quit in 2010;
QuitlineNC Numbers Up More Than 72 Percent

For release: Immediate    Feb. 28, 2011
Contact: Julie Henry, 919-707-5053

RALEIGH - QuitlineNC had the biggest year ever for callers in 2010, following passage of the law making North Carolina restaurants and bars smoke-free. QuitlineNC, a free telephone service to help tobacco users quit, heard from 9,840 callers last year, compared with 5,685 callers in 2009, according to new data just released by the N.C. Division of Public Health.

“These numbers show that QuitlineNC is a great investment in North Carolina’s health,” State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel said. “Evidence shows us that smokers who get counseling are more likely to be successful in quitting. The smoke-free restaurants and bars law is another incentive for smokers to go ahead and make that quit attempt.”

“These numbers show that QuitlineNC is a great investment in North Carolina’s health,” State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel said. “Evidence shows us that smokers who get counseling are more likely to be successful in quitting. The smoke-free restaurants and bars law is another incentive for smokers to go ahead and make that quit attempt.”

Cameron Green of Pittsboro quit smoking with the help of QuitlineNC. He credits the new law as part of his motivation. Now that he has quit, he said not being around cigarette smoke as much has made it easier for him to stay smoke-free.

“Smelling cigarette smoke makes you want to smoke,” Green said. “Even sitting in a non-smoking section of a restaurant didn’t keep the smell away. But if you don’t smell it, you just go about with your day.”

According to Sally Herndon, head of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (TPCB) in the N.C. Division of Public Health, policy changes like the smoke-free restaurants and bars law are a proven factor that leads to less smoking. QuitlineNC also saw increased traffic in 2010 from state employees following a State Health Plan initiative to provide free nicotine patches to members who called the service.

“Most smokers want to quit, and we want to do all that we can to encourage and support them,” Herndon said. “That means advocating for policy changes and increased support in the workplace, and increasing awareness of the Quitline service through the media.”

Green encourages others to take advantage of the free service.

“I don’t see any reason for anybody not to try it,” Green said. “I quit, and QuitlineNC really worked for me.”

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For more information and an on-line link to the Quitline, plus an interactive calculator to tally how much money you might save from quitting, visit http://www.tobaccopreventionandcontrol.ncdhhs.gov/cessation/index.htm#20

 

 

 

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