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Tobacco-Free Tennessee: Quit Smoking This Week! 
Quittin Time in TNTennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has declared this week - Feb. 22-26 - as Tennessee Quit Week. The week is sponsored by the statewide Tobacco-Free Coalition. (The City of Knoxville is part of the coalition.) The purpose of Quit Week is to raise awareness about the health risks and to encourage more people to cut back or quit using tobacco products. 

Tennessee has one of the highest smoking rates in the United States.

Did you know?

- 24.3 percent of Tennesseans smoke on a regular basis; the national rate is 18 percent.
- Tobacco claims the lives of 30 Tennesseans daily.
- Health care costs related to smoking top out at close to $3 billion.

Smoking rates and risks vary demographically. For example, African-Americans are less likely to smoke than whites, but African-Americans are at a higher risk of dying from smoking-related illnesses if they do smoke. Hispanics' smoking habits vary by country, with those of Puerto Rican descent having a higher rate (30 percent) and those with Central and South American ancestry having lower rates (20 percent). Asian Americans make up the smallest portion of smokers (10 percent).

Although the statistics can seem unsettling, there are many resources out there to help quit the tobacco addiction. The Tobacco Quit Line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), is a free service available to Tennesseans. The service connects you with a counselor who can lay out a plan specific to your habits and behaviors.

Those who seek aid from counselors or health-care professionals are more likely to succeed at quitting than those who don’t, according to experts. Those who quit can add 10 years to their life expectancy, research indicates.

The Centers for Disease Control is approaching its target goal of a national smoking rate of 17 percent. Tennessee’s Tobacco-Free Coalition has an even more ambitious goal of reducing the Volunteer State rate to 12 percent by 2020.

For more information on Tennessee Quit Week, visit http://tn.gov/health/topic/FHW-tobacco. For support, visit https://www.quitterscircle.com/ and download the Quitter’s Circle application for your Smart Phone.

- Communications Intern Tucker Hyde

Posted by evreeland On 23 February, 2016 at 9:20 AM