Kick new year off by kicking habit

Help is only a phone call or a click away for any Mississippian who wants to stop smoking. The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline offers cessation services for those who want to start living a tobacco-free life.

“Any Mississippian can call the Tobacco Quitline to receive free telephone and online counseling,” said Verna Fleming, director of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Choctaw, Montgomery & Webster Counties. “Smokers may also be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch or gum.”

Experts agree that getting professional help can make a huge difference for those trying to quit smoking. “Nicotine is an incredibly addictive drug and the cravings and withdrawal symptoms can overpower even the strongest will,” said Roy Hart, director of the Office of Tobacco Control at the Mississippi State Department of Health. “Those who seek and receive professional help are twice as likely to quit for good.”

Nearly 580,000 Mississippi adults smoke cigarettes and 3,900 Mississippi kids under the age of 18 become smokers each year. About 4,700 Mississippi adults die from smoking each year and 69,000 Mississippi kids under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking.

“The new year is a great time to plan to quit and you can succeed by understanding that quitting isn’t easy, making a plan to quit and getting professional help,” said Fleming.

Mississippians can call 1-800–QUITNOW or visit www.QuitlineMS. com to take advantage of the services. offered by the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline.