Virginia Department of Health kicks off 31-day countdown to quit smoking

no-smoking-headerThe Virginia Department of Health is launching its Countdown to Quit Day, October 20, to help tobacco users prepare for Virginia Quit Day, November 20.  Tips and support will be posted on the VDH Facebook page each day leading up to Virginia Quit Day. People can commit to quitting, like the page and receive daily encouragement.

Aligned with the Great American Smoke Out, Virginia Quit Day celebrates the benefits of living tobacco-free. “Quitting tobacco is the single most important step a person can take to improve their health and quality of life.  The improvements start immediately,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine MD, MPH, FAAFP. “The Countdown to Quit Day supports tobacco users’ decision to quit and arms them with knowledge and resources to be successful.”

The tips in the Countdown give tobacco users extra support by helping them and their families and friends prepare for the quit. Guidance will be provided on topics such as setting a date to quit; cleaning the home, car and clothes to get the smell of tobacco smoke out; clearing the home of tobacco paraphernalia, and understanding the changes the body goes through when quitting and having a plan to deal with them.

“Quitting tobacco is difficult because of the addiction to nicotine,” said Jayne Flowers, Tobacco Use Control Program director. “Even if someone has tried to quit in the past and relapsed, we want them to know they are not alone and we encourage them to take this opportunity, together with thousands of people across the nation, to quit for good.”

Countdown to Quit Day is not just for tobacco users but also for people who love tobacco users. The tips provided will help them support their loved ones when they decide to quit, making it more likely they will remain tobacco-free.

“Quitting tobacco is also a gift to others who are exposed to secondhand smoke,” said Levine. “Join the Countdown, make the pledge to quit using tobacco November 20 and help make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation.”

The Virginia Quitline is available year-round and offers support for quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan and free educational materials. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or Deaf and hearing-impaired TTY is 800-332-8615.

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