The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line started up just two years ago, but is already proving to be a success.
According to Georgia Division of Public Health, tobacco is the number one preventable death, killing more Americans each year than alcohol, car accidents, and AIDS combined.
To help kick their smoking habit, many smokers are turning to the help of phone counseling services.
"They've tried everything, they've tried it on their own because we know that 46 percent of our smokers think they can do it on their own but they really have to have outside help,” says Diann McCrae, Tobacco Use Prevention Director.
That outside help really does make a difference. The statewide program provides screening, counseling, and follow-up services for those wanting to quit. Recent reports show that Georgia’s Tobacco Quit Line is effective.
Last year, 23-percent of callers stopped using tobacco for seven days. This year that number is up three percent.
The success rate for smokers who quit for a month or more was 21-percent in 2002. This year that number is rising.
"I feel it's an excellent program. I think we made a big difference in the last three years. Our program has been in existence for the last three years and we've just seen changes locally but just based on the data that just came out we know that we're making a difference,” McCrae says.
It’s not only making a difference, but also making a difference at a better average than the national rate.
It’s 13-percent while Georgia’s best quit rate is 26-percent.
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Overview of Tobacco Use
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/30yrs2t.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).