HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Smokers looking to quit can receive Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) from the Pennsylvania Department of Health starting Thursday, Nov. 15.
NRT is offered to Pennsylvanians each year in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout. The annual event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, encourages Americans to stop smoking for 24 hours, hoping their decision not to smoke will last forever.
Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death, yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, according to the American Cancer Society.
"Quitting smoking can be challenging, but your chances for success increase when you have help and support," Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. "The department offers services that can help smokers quit for good, and we encourage Pennsylvanians to take the first step toward living a longer, healthier life."
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly 70 percent of American adult smokers say they want to quit, and 52 percent have tried to quit within the past year.
Research shows smokers, on average, try to quit at least seven times before they succeed. Tobacco use causes more deaths each year than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.
"While quitting is difficult, managing a disease you might get from smoking can be much more difficult," added Wolf.
To find out if you are eligible for NRT, call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to be connected to trained staff that will help you develop and carry out a plan to quit smoking. One-on-one coaching is available, as well as ongoing support and resources. Up to eight weeks of free NRT patches will be offered to participants who are medically eligible.
For more information, visit www.health.state.pa.us.
Media contacts: Holli Senior, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health