HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today is the Great American Smokeout, and Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy is reminding Pennsylvanians of the resources the department has available to help them stop smoking.
"It can be difficult to quit smoking, but a person's chances of success dramatically increase if they have the resources and support structure they need," said Secretary Murphy. "The Department of Health offers services that can help smokers quit for good, and we encourage Pennsylvanians to take the first step toward living a longer, healthier life."
In recognition of the Great American Smokeout, Deputy Secretary of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Dr. Loren Robinson spoke at an event in Harrisburg celebrating a new ordinance that creates smoke-free city parks and pools.
The event included the unveiling of anti-tobacco use signs sponsored by the department's Young Lungs at Play program, which helps communities create tobacco-free parks, playgrounds and recreational areas for children.
Pennsylvania residents have access to a free "Quitline" at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569), in which trained staff help callers develop and carry out a plan to quit smoking. One-on-one coaching, ongoing support, and resources are available, including free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, lozenges, or gum.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body, slows down lung growth in children and teens, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life.
Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. However, more than 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, according to the American Cancer Society. Tobacco use causes more deaths each year than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health