Adapted from information provided by the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health (http://www.mass.gov/dph/mtcp)
- Tobacco use is a chronic addictive disease. Approximately half of all tobacco users will die from a tobacco-related illness.
- 78% of Massachusetts smokers say they would like to quit, and 56% say they have made a quit attempt in the past year.
- It takes most smokers as many as 8 quit attempts before they are able to quit for good.
- Although it is possible to quit “cold turkey,” more than 95% of those who quit on their own will relapse.
- Evidence shows that the chance of successfully quitting is much higher with the use of behavioral counseling and FDA-approved stop-smoking medications, including nicotine patches, gum, nasal sprays, etc.
The Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-784-8669 provides confidential telephone information, referral and counseling at no charge. Counselors are available to speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. Translators are available for other languages.
www.TrytoStop.orgis an interactive website for smokers that offers expert advice, an interactive bulletin board, self-directed quitting tools, resources, and information in nine languages.
QuitWorks (www.quitworks.org) is an interactive website that provides cessation services to smokers who are referred by their health care providers. QuitWorks was developed by MTCP in 2002 in collaboration with all major health care insurers in Massachusetts.
If you are covered by MassHealth, you may be eligible for a range of products and services to help you quit using tobacco products. Speak to your health care provider or call MassHealth customer service at 1-800-841-2900 to learn about these new benefits.
Contact the Springfield Tobacco Cessation & Prevention Program to discuss programs and resources available for your school, organization, or workplace. Call 413-787-6740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to lung cancer and heart disease in non-smoking adults and to lower respiratory infections, asthma, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome in children. Secondhand tobacco smoke is especially harmful to pregnant women and to fetal development.
Though they are not smokers themselves, an estimated 1,000 or more Massachusetts adults and children die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Passing laws that prohibit smoking in workplaces and other public places (see Smokefree Workplace), and encouraging people to maintain smoke-free homes and vehicles not only protects nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to the toxins in tobacco smoke, but may also have the added benefit of reducing tobacco consumption by smokers and increasing the number of smokers who quit.
If your workplace is not compliant with the Smoke-free Workplace Law, you may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The form can be downloaded, completed and either faxed or mailed, or a complaint may be filed by calling 1-800-992-1895.