S.D. tobacco Quit Line serves over 12,000 in one year

S.D. tobacco Quit Line serves over 12,000 in one year Over 12,000 South Dakota tobacco users called a state tobacco quit line during the program's first year. Nine percent of the state's adult smoking population received services through the line in 2002. The Quit Line was launched in January 2002.

"Clearly, there are a lot of people who are looking for help to quit using tobacco. The Quit Line is one way we can make cessation counseling readily available all across the state, especially in rural areas which typically haven't had access to these kinds of services," said Doneen Hollingsworth, secretary of health. "The response to the line has been even greater than expected."

Tobacco users who call 1-866-SD QUITS (1-866-737-8487) receive over-the-phone counseling from trained professionals as well as free cessation products. Counselors schedule regular follow-up calls over several weeks to offer support during the individual's quit attempt. Counseling combined with quit-smoking products more than doubles a tobacco user's chances of successfully quitting.

Hollingsworth said evaluation of the project is now underway with callers from the line's first six months to determine actual quit rates. For purposes of the evaluation, a quit attempt would be considered successful once 12 months had passed without tobacco use.

The Quit Line is a partnership with the American Cancer Society, which operates similar counseling lines in other states. South Dakota was the first state to directly provide free quit-smoking products and telephone counseling services statewide.

Twenty-two percent of adult South Dakotans are smokers and eligible for Quit Line services and products. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and secondhand smoke results in serious illness for nonsmokers, including an increased risk of respiratory infections and asthma in children.

For more information about the South Dakota Quit Line, call the department's Tobacco Control Program at 1-800-738-2301 or visit the Web at www.sdquits.net.

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