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New initiative inspires tobacco users in Madison to quit and tell

Tobacco Free Madison Partnership raises awareness about free quit services during Tobacco Free Florida Week

The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Program and Tobacco Free Madison Partnership are launching a new initiative called Quit and Tell to celebrate Madison residents 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 three Free and Easy Ways to Quit available to help Floridians. These free and proven-effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting. 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 percent - a rate lower than the national average of 19 percent of those current smokers in the state, approximately 1.7 million want to quit. More than 126,000 Floridians have already successfully quit using one of the three 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. “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.” Tobacco Free Florida’s three 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/webc-oach. •COME IN: Sign up for group classes at your local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) by calling (813) 929-1000 or visiting 325 John Knox Road, Suite M -200, Tallahassee, Fl. 32303. There are plenty of reasons to quit. Quitting smoking can add up to 10 years to one’s life expectancy. The health benefits of quitting smoking begins almost immediately after one’s last cigarette and continues for years if one quits for good.

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