Vermonters Kick the Habit for Annual Great American Smokeout

Vermont  Quit Network Provides Online, Phone and In-Person Support  

For Immediate Release: Nov. 18, 2010
Media Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON, VT – Vermonters who smoke can turn  in their cigarettes on Nov. 18 in exchange for a $5 gift card to help fill up their car with gas, or for five free cups of coffee. The Vermont Department of Health and anti-smoking coalitions statewide are rewarding smokers who make the exchange as part of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout.

Communities participating in the events from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday:

Incentives such as gift cards, funded by the state's tobacco settlement payments, are a proven strategy for motivating behavioral change in the field of addiction treatment.  More than 83,000 Vermont adults smoke, but in any given year more than half of them make at least one serious quit attempt.

“It's not easy to quit smoking, especially for those who decide to quit on their own,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “We're proud to partner with the American Cancer Society to provide all smokers with support and incentives, no matter what method they use to quit.”

Support is available  online, by phone and in-person from the Vermont Quit Network. The Network’s web site –  www.VTQuitNetwork.org, is an online hub designed to help them successfully quit smoking.

Lisa Palmer, a resident of Windsor, found the online support much more effective at keeping her on track to quit.

“I quit smoking on my daughter’s 21st birthday; I learned to do things to curb cravings, but it sometimes wasn’t enough,” Palmer said. “The online community boards from the Vermont Quit Network’s Quit Online support gave me great ideas, tips and support from others in similar situations. I especially enjoyed the quit calculator; watching how many days I was smoke-free and how  much money I was saving kept me motivated and reinforced my commitment to be  able to dance at her wedding someday.”

Most Vermonters think of themselves as “independent quitters,” interested in quitting smoking on their own terms. The Vermont Quit Network’s “Your Quit Your Way” suite of tools was created to help Vermonters quit for good, using proven methods and tools. The following is a sampling of some of the tools available:

Nicotine Replacement Therapy, which can double the chance of quitting for good. Sign up at VTQuitNetwork.org, or through the Quit by Phone, or Quit in Person programs (while supplies last).  
Distraction Tools such as the new Key Puzzle provide a fun, hands-on way for smokers to get through a craving.  
MyQuitKit/Khemia is an online game that provides both a distraction from cigarette cravings and personalized support for quitting. Play Khemia at VTQuitNetwork.org.

The Vermont Quit Network also is promoting its free quit tools and services online with a Facebook group page and web banner ads, and radio stations around the state will be airing a series of advertisements featuring proven tips and information to help Vermonters quit smoking.

To learn more about the support available when considering quitting visit VTQuitNetwork.org, http://www.VTQuitNetwork.org, dial 1.800.QUIT.NOW (784-8669) or call a  Vermont Quit  Network coach at a local Vermont  hospital. For more information about Vermont's Tobacco Control Program visit http://healthvermont.gov.

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