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Tobacco Tax Hike May Mean Big Year for “Stop Smoking” Resolutions

December 31, 2007

Madison, WI – Kicking a nicotine habit is a common New Year's resolution, but on Jan. 1, when a new state cigarette tax kicks in, the idea is expected to be more popular than ever in Wisconsin. The substantial dollar-a-pack tax increase likely will give many smokers the extra boost they need to give up tobacco, Michelle Mercure with the American Lung Association in Wisconsin predicts.

"If you have to pay more money for a pack of cigarettes, your incentive to quit is a little stronger. So, of course, we'll have a lot of people after the New Year when that tax goes into effect looking to quit."

There's plenty of help out there, she says, including the easy-to-remember American Lung Association help line, 800-LUNG-USA. "Freedom from smoking" programs also are available in many local communities or online at www.FreedomFromSmoking.org, she adds.

Mercure points out that a little help goes a long away toward successfully quitting.

"For people who try to quit cold turkey, that probably is the least successful method. Calling a quit line, going through a behavior modification program, and of course, any kind of nicotine replacement therapy or pharmacotherapy, are very helpful as well."

The tax boost is just the latest in a long list of reasons to kick the habit, Mercure notes.

"Whether it's a New Year's resolution, whether it's because of an increase in the tax, or if it's just for their health or the sake of their family, we encourage everybody to make that resolution and quit."

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WI