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New smoking cessation help in Florida

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Most people know that smoking is bad for their health on all levels: it is bad for every cell in the body. A large number of smokers enjoy smoking regardless of all the health hazards and do not want to quit. Another large group of smokers, however, would like to quit. Unfortunately, quitting smoking is very hard to achieve and smoke-free life is usually a distant dream rather than a reality. Quitting smoking is hard regardless of what methods people use.

However, recent studies show that tobacco users who seek help from their doctors or other medical professionals have more success. The State Surgeon General, The Florida Department of Health and Tobacco Free Florida issued an initiative "Team Up to Quit" that is calling on all healthcare providers to help tobacco users quit.

According to a 2012 survey, more than 75 percent of Florida’s healthcare providers regularly ask patients about their tobacco use habits, while only half of them assess smokers' readiness, ability, and need to quit or offer any kind of quitting assistance. Team Up To Quit promotes a teamwork approach, which is a part of the statewide effort being launched next week during Tobacco Free Florida Week.

Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other health providers will be encouraged to get out educational messages that will help tobacco users give up their habit.

“The health-care community plays a crucial role in helping patients understand the impact of smoking on their lives,” said Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong.

Helping more Floridians quit for good should be a priority for any healthcare provider.

The sixth annual Tobacco Free Florida Week runs from April 21-25, 2014. Join the conversation on Twitter at #TeamUpToQuit.

Through Tobacco Free Florida, smokers can find help in various ways: They can call the Florida Quitline 877-U-CAN-NOW (877-822-6669), use a web-based program, or attend counseling services. They can also get free nicotine replacement therapy.

SOURCE: Tobacco Free Florida, Press Release, April 16, 2014

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