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New Initiative Inspires Tobacco Users in Escambia to Quit and Tell

By FDOH Escambia

April 27, 2015

PENSACOLA, FL – The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Program in collaboration with it’s Escambia County extension, will launch a new initiative called Quit and Tell. Quit and Tell will recognize Escambia County, Florida residents who quit tobacco and encourage others to join the movement.

The Quit and Tell launch will coincide with the seventh annual Tobacco Free Florida Week from April 27 to May 3. It is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness about 3 Free & Easy Ways to Quit. These free and effective services give Floridians the option to contact a Quit Coach® by telephone, to participate in an online cessation program, or to participate in an in-person cessation class.

“Tobacco Free Florida in Escambia County is taking the excuse out of quitting by providing free and convenient quit services both face-to-face and by phone,” said Vanessa Phillips, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for Escambia County. “Clients who sign up for one of our services receive a free starter pack of patches and access to certified quit counselors. All they need to do is make the call.”

Tobacco Free Florida launched in 2007. Since this time, the state of Florida has seen a significant reduction in tobacco use. The current cigarette smoking rate in Florida is 16.8 compared to the national average of 19 percent. Of those current smokers in the state, approximately 1.7 million want to quit.

More than 126,000 Floridians have quit with assistance from 3 Ways to Quit. These free services help tobacco users create comprehensive and personalized quit plans. Free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), like the patch or a combination of the patch and nicotine gum, is available while supplies last.

“Quitting tobacco can be difficult but it is not impossible and Tobacco Free Florida’s free services can greatly improve chances,” said Shannon Hughes, Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief. “In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers in the state. We encourage Floridians to share success stories to inspire others.”

Tobacco Free Florida’s 3 Ways to Quit:

  • CALL: Call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach® who will assess your addiction and develop a personalized quit plan.
  • CLICK: Tobacco Free Florida’s online cessation tool can be accessed at tobaccofreeflorida.com/webcoach.
  • COME IN: Sign up for group classes at the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County by calling (850) 595-6500, Extension: 1830 or  by visiting 1295 West Fairfield Drive, Pensacola, FL 32501.

There are plenty of reasons to quit. Quitting tobacco use can add 10 or more years to a person’s life expectancy. The health benefits associated with tobacco cessation begin almost immediately after quitting.

 

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ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA WEEK

 

The seventh annual Tobacco Free Florida Week takes place from April 27 – May 3. Join the conversation on social media using #QuitAndTell. To Quit and Tell, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quitandtell.

ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA

The Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s three ways to quit. Since 2007, more than 126,000 Floridians have successfully quit, using one of these free services. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.  For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.