Smokers “Quittin’ Time” Encourages Smokers to Commit to a Healthy Life

"Quittin Time" logo

“Quittin Time” logo

Much attention has been focused this week on the heart as it represents love and romance.

Along with Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. Health officials are encouraging everyone to commit to a healthy lifestyle and heart.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

One of the causes of heart damage is the use of tobacco products. In Tennessee alone, tobacco use claims about 30 lives each day. And, if current smoking rates continue, 125,000 Tennessee children alive today who are younger than 18 years of age will die prematurely as a result of smoking.

Not only does tobacco use impact one’s health, but did you know that almost $3 billion  in annual health care costs in Tennessee is directly caused by smoking?

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) chose “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” as its campaign theme this week to celebrate Tennesseans who have quit using tobacco products and inspire more people to join them.

On Tuesday, TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH joined former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, MD, founder and chairman of Nashville-Health, and the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness CEO Richard Johnson  at the State Capitol to celebrate Tennessee Quit Week and discuss opportunities for citizens, government, business, and non-profit leaders to partner in reducing tobacco use in Tennessee.

“The impacts of tobacco use in Tennessee go beyond the damage done to the health, quality of life and incomes of those who choose to smoke,” said Dreyzehner.

“Tobacco use costs our state billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and health care costs, serious and preventable consequences that hurt the prosperity of our state and those who live and work here. We want to increase our partnerships across the public and private sectors to educate people on the harms of tobacco use and how we can work together to help people improve their health and their lives by beating nicotine addiction.”

Tennessee Quit Week raises awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. These proven, effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting.

Tennesseans who smoke and are ready to quit can call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, use a web-based program or attend in-person counseling services and may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy.

These services are provided at no charge to participants.

Call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to talk with a counselor who will help you create a quit plan.

For more information and resources or to enroll online, visit www.tnquitline.org.

Wanda Southerland
Contributor