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A New Year's Resolution That's a Breath of Fresh Air

December 28, 2007

Sioux Falls, SD – Gotta smoke? If you want to ditch the habit, you have plenty of company, and the time is ripe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of the 48 million adults who smoke want to quit. So the American Lung Association, which lists smoking as the number one preventable cause of death, encourages smokers to make quitting their top New Year's Resolution.

Linda Redder with the American Lung Association of South Dakota says that making a commitment to stop smoking now could be a life-saving decision.

"It's the number one preventable cause of death. One in three smokers dies early because of heart disease, stroke, cancer or emphysema. So we encourage people to quit for their own health and also for the health of people around them. Secondhand smoke, of course, has its own health impact on non-smokers."

Redder says many resources are available in South Dakota to help smokers kick the habit.

"The Department of Health has the quit line, and they also have some products available along with counseling to help people quit. It's really important for people to call them before they quit using nicotine or tobacco so that they can work with them on a plan. They have patches and a couple of the prescription medications and they do phone counseling with people wanting to quit smoking."

Redder advises that quitting smoking is a two-step process: it requires overcoming nicotine addiction and breaking the smoking habit. She urges smokers who want to quit but have failed to just keep trying.

The South Dakota quit line number is 1-866-737-8487. The American Lung Association offers a free online "Freedom From Smoking" program at or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA.

David Law/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - SD