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Ohio’s Tobacco Quit Line Prepares for New Year Rush

December 31, 2007

Columbus, OH – Thousands of Ohioans won't let one of their most important New Year's resolutions go up in smoke. They'll be calling the state's Tobacco Quit Line, which is bracing for a rush of smokers who'll be trying to kick the habit.

Ken Slenkovich directs cessation services for the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation, which operates the Quit Line. He says there is always an increase in calls this time of year.

People who phone in will be coached on the best ways to quit and how to deal with common "triggers" like parties or the after-dinner smoke. A little help goes a long way, Slenkovich adds.

"For folks who use the Quit Line, just with the coaching, it's five times more effective than somebody just trying to go cold turkey."

Quit Line coaches also can steer people toward nicotine replacement products such as the nicotine patch, which can double their chances of succeeding. The toll-free Tobacco Quit Line number is easy to remember: 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Slenkovich says life-long health benefits come from quitting smoking, as well as instant results.

"Within the first 20 minutes it has a positive effect on your blood pressure. You also save a lot of money. The average tobacco user spends between $500 and $3,000 a year on their habit."

According to Slenkovich, the Quit Line has helped more than 25,000 Ohioans kick nicotine in its four years of operation.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OH