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Michigan Tobacco Quitline Calls Increase By 200 Percent

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2012

LANSING - Two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Tips from Former Smokers campaign, calls to the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW have increased by more than 200 percent compared to the two weeks preceding the campaign.

Call volume increased from 196 for March 12-18, to 596 calls for March 19-25 and 655 calls between March 26 and April 1. The ads were launched by the CDC on March 19, and will run on television, radio, billboards, online, in theaters, magazines, and newspapers throughout Michigan for at least 12 weeks.

"We've seen that previous campaigns promoting Quitlines show at least five to six smokers try to quit on their own for every one person who calls a quitline," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). "After only two weeks, this national campaign has already shown that it is making an impact on Michigan smokers."

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline has had more than 67,000 callers since 2003. Anyone with Medicaid, Medicare or who are uninsured or veterans has the option of utilizing a free series of coaching calls to help them quit smoking or using other tobacco products. Free nicotine replacement therapy is available to qualifying enrollees. All callers receive information and referral to quitting resources in their area.

Help finding resources to quit tobacco is also available at the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/tobacco.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Michigan, killing more than 14,300 residents every year. Cigarette smoking costs Michigan $3.4 billion in direct medical costs and $3.95 billion in lost productivity each year. Still, nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, and half make a serious quit attempt each year. The Tips from a Former Smokers campaign has already provided motivation and resources to help Michigan residents quit.

For more information about the campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources, and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/Quitting/Tips.

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