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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015

Quit Like a Champion - DHEC Helps South Carolinians Kick the Habit with Free Resources and Support

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reminds smokers and tobacco users that the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 19 offers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of resources available through the S.C. Tobacco Quitline.

The annual event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, encourages smokers to quit that day or to make a plan for quitting.

"Kicking the tobacco habit is a tough challenge, which is why we are promoting our state Quitline to give people a helping hand to tackle it," said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC's Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. "The Quitline is there when you need it."

The Quitline is a free counseling service that helps South Carolina smokers and tobacco users kick the habit for good. The service includes one-on-one coaching by phone or Internet, assistance developing a personalized quit plan, and free nicotine replacement therapy to South Carolinians who do not have health insurance.

Biggers said that tobacco users who want to kick the habit during the Great American Smokeout can call the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).  The Quitline is open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily.  

All South Carolinians, insured or uninsured, who call the Quitline are guaranteed at least one free session with a trained quit coach and a referral to local resources. Many callers are eligible for up to five free sessions with a quit coach, and pregnant tobacco users can get up to 10 free sessions.

Launched in 2006, the S.C. Tobacco Quitline has helped thousands of South Carolinians quit tobacco use. From July 2014 to October 2015, the Quitline received more than 23,000 calls. "Anytime is a good time to quit, but the Great American Smokeout is a wonderful time to turn over a new leaf," said Biggers. "Call today so you can quit for keeps."

For more information, visit DHEC's blog at http://blog.scdhec.gov/2015/11/19/gaso-2015.

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Robert Yanity
Public Information Director
yanityrm@dhec.sc.gov
803.898.1617