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    Quitline provides free services to help Marylanders quit tobacco
    Resources, plans are great tools to help people kick their habits in 2017
    Baltimore, MD (January 3, 2017) — Quitting tobacco use is the single most important step a tobacco user can take to improve the length and quality of his or her life. According to the American Lung Association, within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, a smoker's body begins a series of changes. The longer a person goes without using tobacco, the larger the benefit to his or her health. The start of a new year provides an opportunity for Marylanders to formalize a plan for kicking their tobacco habits and to start enjoying the benefits of healthier lives.
    “We know how difficult it can be and how many attempts it can take to quit tobacco for good, which is why we are pleased to offer the free, effective, and confidential Maryland Tobacco Quitline to state residents,” said Secretary Dennis R. Schrader.
    Equipped with a good plan, residents trying to quit can work through symptoms of withdrawal and become tobacco-free. Five steps that can help:
    1.      Set a quit date. The start of a new year is a great time to quit, along with many other people around the country. Or choose another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
    2.      Get support.  Share your quit date with the important people in your life and seek support. The Maryland Tobacco Quitline offers free, effective, and confidential coaching for Maryland residents 13 and older, and offers free patches or gum to eligible participants. Tobacco users can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or can visit www.smokingstopshere.com to enroll in the program.
    3.      Anticipate and plan for challenges. The urge to use tobacco is short, usually only 3 to 5 minutes. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    4.      Remove cigarettes, other tobacco, ashtrays, and lighters from your home, car and workplace. Tobacco odors and paraphernalia can cause cravings.
    5.      Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medications. Nicotine patches, gum, or other medicines may help with cravings.
    Provide these resources to a friend or family member as a gift of support for a New Year's resolution. We have also developed a short video titled “Reasons to Quit” that gives an overview about free Quitline services. Watch it at https://goo.gl/SYJ6UF. Thousands of Marylanders have quit using tobacco with help from the Maryland Tobacco Quitline. Hear some of their stories in their own words here: http://smokingstopshere.com/media/. Visit www.smokingstopshere.com or Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to talk to a live Quit Coach 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counseling is provided in English, Spanish, or other languages. Make 2017 the year you quit for good.