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Lung Association: Great Time to Be a Quitter in MI

June 30, 2009

LANSING, Mich. - A new federal law greatly strengthens the federal regulation of cigarettes and tobacco products at the same time varied services are available in Michigan to help people kick the habit.

As an example of how tough it can be to quit, President Barack Obama, arguably the most powerful man in the world, is still struggling to stop smoking. Days after signing into law the most restrictive regulations on tobacco in U.S. history, the President admitted he still smokes an occasional cigarette. He said he began smoking as a teen, and that he's tried for years to quit entirely.

Ginny Smith of the American Lung Association says many smokers have to quit smoking four or five times before they finally kick the habit for good. Smith says one successful tactic is to focus on both the long-term and the immediate benefits of being smoke-free.

"In just 20 minutes your blood pressure begins to go down; 24 hours later your chance of a heart attack decreases; two days later your sense of taste and smell return."

Smith adds that support is just a phone call away in Michigan. The Lung Association runs a hot line staffed by registered nurses and respiratory therapists, and has an eight-week program that's designed to help people stay smoke-free for good. The hot line is 1-800-LUNG-USA.

Smith adds that the benefits of quitting continue the longer you stay smoke-free.

"At three days you're beginning to have an increased level of energy, and then by two weeks, your walking starts to get easier; three months later, you begin to cough and wheeze less; and then by one year your heart attack risk is cut in half."

Smith says the new regulations will help keep teens away from cigarettes. More than 90 percent of current smokers began as teenagers.

There's more information at www.lungusa.org

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - MI