The Great American Smokeout has been around since 1977, when the American Cancer Society began sponsoring the nationwide push to end smoking.  It could be “the first day of the rest of your life”… Here are some statistics, and organizations that want to help you quit.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, there are nearly 70,000 Washington state young people who are smoking. And nearly 750,000 Washington state adults. In Washington, tobacco-related diseases kill about 7,600 residents every year.

Washington State residents can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Your call will be answered by an American Cancer Society Quit for Life program worker. You’ll receive information about quitting programs covered by your employer, by commercial insurance or by Medicaid. If you smoke, check with your employer to see if tobacco cessation coverage is a health benefit. Many employers in Washington cover the cost.

According to the King County Public Health website, King County residents 18 years and older are still eligible for quitline services through March 2012, despite recent budget cuts, thanks to a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to Public Health — Seattle & King County.

The program offers Washington residents free, confidential, telephone-based tobacco cessation counseling. Professionally trained Quit Coaches will provide participants with individually tailored counseling and support, tools to cope with withdrawal symptoms and, if appropriate, decision support for cessation medication.

The American Cancer Society also has many online helps for those who want to quit smoking, including a study using a new email program to help you quit. If you are eligible, you’ll be compensated for your feedback. Check the American Cancer Society website for details.

The Great American Smokeout is on Thursday, November 17.



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