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Don’t quit on quitting smoking

Story Submitted: Tobacco Free Florida

New Year's resolutions do not always go according to plan. By the second week of February, about four out of five resolutions fail. Quitting smoking is no different. For many smokers, it can take several attempts to quit for good.

The Florida Department of Health's Tobacco Free Florida program wants you to know that slips and relapses are common among people trying to quit smoking. A slip is one or two cigarettes after you quit. A relapse means going back to smoking regularly. While most slips or relapses occur within the first three months after quitting, they can happen anytime. People who stop smoking often start again because of withdrawal symptoms and stress.

"If you had a slip-up or relapse, we encourage you to get back on track with Tobacco Free Florida's proven-effective resources," said Lacoadia Burkes, Interim Bureau Chief of Tobacco Free Florida. "Our free tools and services can significantly increase your chances of quitting tobacco for good."

Tobacco Free Florida's Quit Your Way program offers free Phone Quit, Group Quit and Web Quit services, in addition to individual tools like texting support, a Quit Guide and helpful emails. Free nicotine replacement therapy – nicotine patches, gum or lozenges – are available to tobacco users who are 18 or older, if medically appropriate. For more information, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.

The department's Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida's tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 212,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there were 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida's Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

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