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Jan 12

Quit for Love

Ringgold County Public Health is advising residents to give up smoking to improve their health and protect their family and friends from toxic secondhand smoke. The “Quit for Love” campaign encourages those who use tobacco to quit by Valentine’s Day. Get help through Quitline Iowa, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or talk with any Ringgold County health care provider.

Free phone counseling and 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches, gum or lozenges is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). This is the last chance to get free NRT before grant funding ends on March 18, 2012.

“Quit for Love” kits with Valentine’s cards are also free through any Ringgold County health care provider. To print your own cards, visit http://www.rcph.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/QUIT-FOR-LOVE-CARD-4UP1.pdf.

“Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease,” said Becky Fletchall, RN, Public Health Nurse Administrator. “Tobacco smoke is a deadly mix of more than 7,000 toxic chemicals, including 70 known to cause cancer. According to the CDC, around 231,000 Iowa kids are exposed to harmful secondhand smoke. We urge parents to smoke outside or quit.”

Babies and children who are exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes may suffer from bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections. Exposure may make them wheeze and cough more often. If they have asthma, breathing in secondhand smoke from cigarettes can trigger an attack that may be severe enough to send them to the hospital. Secondhand smoke also causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be dangerous. Quitting smoking will improve your health and protect the health of others.

Get ready by setting a quit date and by changing your environment. Throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays in your home and car, and don’t let people smoke in your presence. Also, think about your past attempts to quit. Review what worked and what did not. Once you quit, don’t smoke at all.

The coaches at Quitline Iowa (1-800-QUIT-NOW) can enroll callers in free counseling sessions that help overcome triggers, manage stress, and maintain a healthy weight while living tobacco-free. More people successfully quit tobacco by using phone coaching with nicotine replacement therapy than by quitting without help.