ATLANTA - Tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in Georgia, yet many Georgians still use tobacco, tobacco products or electronic nicotine devices. In support of today’s Great American Smokeout, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is calling on Georgians who use tobacco or tobacco products to take the first step toward a healthier life – quit smoking or make a plan to quit smoking.
Tobacco use leads to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and premature death. In a young person, smoking can damage the heart and lungs right away and in some cases, the damage never goes away.
“Every year in Georgia, more than 12,000 people die from smoking related illnesses,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. The health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, but there are benefits at any age. You are never too old to quit.”
The theme of this year’s Great American Smokeout is When Trying to Quit Smoking, Support Can Make All the Difference. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line offers support, free of charge.
Callers receive free, confidential counseling on how to quit smoking or any nicotine product or delivery system. The Quit Line provides smoking prevention and cessation programs to Georgians (age 13 and older) that can increase the chances of quitting and staying quit. Right now free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available through the Quit Line. Certified smoking cessation coaches are available 24 hours a day to talk about a plan to quit or how to help a family member or friend quit. These services provide support by:
- Preparing participants for their quit date
- Helping develop an individualized Quitting Plan
- Providing tips and support to live in a smoke-free environment
- Offering advice and information on medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms
Georgians can call the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP (7867) or 1-877-2NO-FUME (877-266-3863). Hearing impaired individuals can call 1-877-777-6534. It’s free and available 24/7.