November 17, 2011
Fewer Vermont adults smoke cigarettes – 15 percent in 2010 compared to 17 percent in 2009 – according to the Vermont Department of Health’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study. The national smoking rate in 2010 was 17 percent.
“We’re encouraged by the reduction in the overall number of Vermont smokers. We realize that quitting smoking is one of the most difficult behavioral changes a person can make,” said Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “The Vermont Quit Network provides the tools, support and incentives to help even more Vermonters quit.”
The Health Department and anti-smoking coalitions statewide are announcing the results of the BRFSS study to demonstrate progress in reducing health risks and to show support for the roughly 76,000 Vermont adults who still smoke. In any given year, more than half make at least one serious quit attempt. Annual events, including the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout (held today, Nov. 17) and New Year’s resolutions, are often occasions for smokers to set or plan for their quit date.
The toll of tobacco in Vermont is high, with more than 850 deaths each year attributed to smoking. Smoking costs the state over $233 million in health care, $72 million of which are Medicaid expenditures.
Most Vermonters think of themselves as “independent quitters,” interested in quitting smoking on their own terms. The Vermont Quit Network’s “Your Quit. Your Way” suite of tools was created to help Vermonters quit using proven methods and tools. Support for Vermont smokers is available online, by phone and in-person from the Vermont Quit Network. The Network’s web site – www.VTQuitNetwork.org, is an online hub designed to help them successfully quit smoking.
Free tools available to Vermont smokers as part of “Your Quit. Your Way” include:
• Nicotine Replacement Therapy, which can double the chance of quitting for good. Sign up at VTQuitNetwork.org, or through the Quit by Phone or Quit in Person programs (while supplies last).
• Distraction Tools such as the key puzzle provide a fun, hands-on way for smokers to get through a craving.
• Khemia is an online game that provides both a distraction from cigarette cravings and personalized support for quitting, when you register for My Quit Kit. Play Khemia for free at VTQuitNetwork.org.
The Vermont Quit Network also is promoting its free quit tools and services via direct mail as well as online with a Facebook group page and web banner ads. Radio stations around the state will be airing a series of testimonials from Vermonters who have successfully quit smoking.
More than 7,000 randomly-selected Vermonters age 18 or older participated in the annual BRFSS survey. Funding for the BRFSS study is provided to the 50 states and three territories by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To learn more about the support available when considering quitting visit VTQuitNetwork.org, dial 1.800.QUIT.NOW (784-8669), or sign up for a quit group in your community in the Quit In Person section of the website. For more information about Vermont’s Tobacco Control Program, visit http://healthvermont.gov.
Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: November 17, 2011 08:24:20