Calls to Tobacco Quit Line increase from Clallam County

More people in Clallam County are trying to quit smoking using the state's toll-free Tobacco Quit Line. In April 2009, 74 people called the quit line, compared to an average monthly call of 33 last year - a 124-percent increase.

Many people were prompted to quit when a new federal tobacco tax went into effect on April 1, raising the cost of a pack of cigarettes by 62 cents.

Across the state, the number of calls to the Washington Quit Line increased by 199 percent during the month of April compared to April 2008 - from 1,229 to 3,678.

"The increase in the cost of tobacco is another good reason to kick the habit," said Iva Burks, director of Clallam County Health and Human Services. "We want people to know that free help is available, when they're ready to quit."

In Clallam County, questions or concerns about tobacco use, how to quit or how to avoid secondhand smoke can be directed to Jill Dole, tobacco prevention and control specialist with Clallam County Health and Human Services. Contact Dole at 360-565-2608 or

The Tobacco Quit Line - 800-QUIT-NOW (877-2NO-FUME in Spanish) - is funded by the Department of Health and is a crucial part of the state's efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Anyone in Washington, regardless of insurance status, can receive at least one coaching call free of charge.

Callers speak with a trained quit coach who will help them identify their smoking triggers and develop a personal plan to quit. They also receive a quit kit with helpful information about setting a quit date and coping with withdrawal symptoms and stress.

Information and interactive tools to help people quit using tobacco also are available at Visitors can develop and print out their own quit plan, watch current ads and interviews with quit coaches, and read and submit letters about the struggle to quit. The Web site also includes information in Spanish.

Since the Washington State Tobacco Prevention

and Control Program began in 2000, the adult smoking rate has declined from 22.4 percent in 1999 to 16.5 percent in 2007. The smoking rate in Clallam County is 18.3 percent. Washington has the sixth-lowest smoking rate in the nation.

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