HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Health reminds smokers that there are resources available to help them quit and urges all smokers to use the 39th Great American Smokeout as the day they choose to quit smoking and take an important step towards a healthier life.
The Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society on the third Thursday in November each year, encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking – even for one day.
"Quitting smoking can be challenging, but your chances for success increase when you have help and support," 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."
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) where 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.
Research shows smokers, on average, try to quit at least seven times before they succeed.
"While quitting is difficult, managing a disease you might get from smoking can be much more difficult," added Wolf.
Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death, yet 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 contacts: Aimee Tysarczyk or Holli Senior, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health