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NEW INITIATIVE: Inspiring Tobacco Users To Quit And Tell

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

April 21, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111
or Naylet Aguayo
media@tobaccofreeflorida.com
(786) 256-0884

NEW INITIATIVE INSPIRES TOBACCO USERS TO QUIT AND TELL
Tobacco Free Florida Week raises awareness about the state's free quit services

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health's Tobacco Free Florida Program is launching a new initiative called Quit and Tell to celebrate Floridians who have quit tobacco and inspire more people to join them.

The Quit and Tell initiative launch aligns with the seventh annual Tobacco Free Florida Week from April 27 to May 3. It is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness about the 3 Free & Easy Ways to Quit available to help Floridians. These free and proven-effective services can double a tobacco user's chances of quitting.

"Quitting tobacco can be difficult, but it is not impossible and Tobacco Free Florida's free services can greatly improve one's chances," said Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief Shannon Hughes. "In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the state. We are encouraging Floridians to share their success stories to inspire others to do the same."

Since Tobacco Free Florida launched in 2007, there has been significant progress in reducing the number of smokers in the state. The most current cigarette smoking rate among adults in Florida is 16.8 percent1—a rate lower than the national average of 19 percent.2 Of those current smokers in the state, approximately 1.7 million want to quit.3, 4, 5

More than 126,000 Floridians have already successfully quit using one of the 3 Ways to Quit. These free services help tobacco users create comprehensive and personalized quit plans. Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), like the patch or a combination of the patch and nicotine gum for heavy smokers, is available while supplies last and if medically appropriate.

Tobacco Free Florida's 3 Ways to Quit include:

  • CALL: Call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach® who will help you assess your addiction and help you create a personalized quit plan.
  • CLICK: Tobacco Free Florida's online cessation tool can be accessed at tobaccofreeflorida.com/webcoach.
  • COME IN: Local face-to-face help is available with the help of Area Health Education Centers, find one near you at tobaccofreeflorida.com/ahec.

There are plenty of reasons to quit. Quitting smoking can add up to 10 years to one's life expectancy.6 The health benefits of quitting smoking begin almost immediately after one's last cigarette and continue for years if one quits for good.

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ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA WEEK
The seventh annual Tobacco Free Florida Week takes place from April 27–May 3. Join the conversation on social media using #QuitAndTell. To Quit and Tell, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quitandtell.

ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA
The department's Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida's tobacco settlement fund. Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state's three ways to quit. Since 2007, more than 126,000 Floridians have successfully quit, using one of these free services. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida and the state's free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data, 2013. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data, 2013. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

3 15,524,970 Florida adults: Florida QuickStats. U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html

4 16.8 percent (or 2,608,195) Florida adults smoke were current cigarettes: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data, 2013. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

5 68.8 percent (1,794,438) report they want to quit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2001–2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2011;60(44):1513–19

6 Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, Rostrom B, Thun M, Anderson RN, McAfee T, Peto R. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 2013;368(4):341–50 [accessed 2014 Nov 26].

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