More smokers trying to quit

To the editor:

I was pleased to hear the news this week that there has been a 250 percent increase in calls to smoking cessation services! This is proof that many smokers have chosen to try to quit instead of paying the new higher tax on cigarettes.

Smoking has gotten increasingly expensive, but in Minnesota, cessation services are free. QUITPLAN Services, the group that announced a drastic increase in requests for quitting help, is a free program available to all Minnesotans. They provide counselors who work with smokers to design a personalized program that matches their needs and can provide tools such as nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, and they have helped more than 20,000 Minnesotans successfully quit in the last decade.

As someone who works for American Lung Association in Minnesota, I believe that reducing tobacco use makes our communities stronger by saving lives and lowering health care costs.

I supported the increase in the price of tobacco because research shows that it is a proven way to encourage adults to quit and keep kids from starting to smoke. And now we know in Minnesota that it works!

Ann Christensen

Program Manager

American Lung Assn. in MN

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