Each New Year people make resolutions, and every year one popular resolution is to quit smoking. We spoke to Jennifer Olendorff, with the Peninsula Smoke-Free Partnership, who said that her office can help…
Olendorff: “State of Alaska has amazing resources available to those wanting to quit tobacco, the most important part of the state program is the free tobacco quit line. It’s an 800 number that an individual can call, and get free nurse counselling, as well as, free nicotine replacement therapy though the mail after a brief confidential interview. It’s free to anybody in the state, as you know, nicotine replacement therapy, lozenges, gum, and patches, are very very expensive, and Alaskans can get it for free. And the nurse counselling resource is also very important, because when you combine counselling with nicotine replacement therapy, the success rate goes incredibly higher.”
Olendorff says each year, the number of people wanting to quit smoking continues to increase..
Olendorff: “You know, we do for a number of reasons, I think first of all the Surgeon General continues almost on an annual basis, to come out with more evidence on how dangerous smoking is, and the different cancers and diseases it causes. So we are seeing more people want to quit. Also also people want to set a good example for out youngsters. We know that youngsters learn by example, so we have a lot of parents and older siblings who want to quit because they want the young people in their life to never start using tobacco, because its such a hard habit to break.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, over 21 percent of adults in Alaska are smokers, with the largest number of smokers between 18 and 24 years of age.