Apalachicola – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Program and Department of Health in Franklin County are launching a new initiative called Quit and Tell to celebrate Franklin County 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 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.
“The Quit and Tell initiative is a great tool that will provide a ‘starting point’ for those who desire to quit.” said Gina Moore, Tobacco Prevention Program Manager. “By reading about the successes of others, they too will be encouraged to use one of the 3 Free and Easy Ways to quit.”
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 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.
“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 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: Sign up for group classes at your local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) by calling (850) 224-1177 or visiting www.ahectobacco.com.
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 begin almost immediately after one’s last cigarette and continue for years if one quits for good.