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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 27, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Lillian Pfaff
(609) 984-7160


 
"Quit 2 Win" Campaign Mobilizes New Jersey to Help Smokers Quit; Discounts on Nicotine Replacement Therapies Offered to Encourage Smokers to Quit


 

TRENTON – To help the state’s more than 1 million smokers succeed in quitting, New Jersey is mobilizing community support and promoting its unique smoking cessation services through the Quit 2 Win campaign, Acting Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. announced today.

 

           Quit 2 Win calls on members of the public, major employers and leaders in health care, business, education and faith-based communities to share information about New Jersey’s free and low-cost Quit Services, educate smokers about the cessation process and encourage those who are trying to quit.

 

          “Smoking is the leading, most preventable cause of death in New Jersey,’’ Dr. Jacobs said. “As a physician, I can’t imagine a bigger public health threat. Cancer has just surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in people under the age of 85.’’

 

          New Jersey is the only state to offer direct access to three different smoking cessation services, tailored to meet the individual needs of smokers.  NJ Quitline (1-866-NJ-STOPS) is a free counseling service.  NJ Quitnet (www.nj.quitnet.com) offers free online information, counseling and referral services.  NJ Quitcenters around the state offer face-to-face counseling on a sliding fee scale.

 

          Seventy percent of the state’s 1.16 million smokers want to quit, according to a recent study by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. However, without assistance, only three to five percent succeed.  The success rate improves dramatically with assistance.  Quitline data show that 30 percent of smokers who try the service succeed in quitting and remain smokefree at the end of six months.

 

          The Quit 2 Win campaign features a web site, www.njquit2win.com, where interested people can obtain information, download educational materials and register to join the effort.  The web page details how smokers can improve their health by using New Jersey’s smoking cessation services and also provides a “tool kit” of resources to conduct a local Quit 2 Win campaign.

 

          Included is a how-to manual outlining possible ways to join the Quit 2 Win effort.  For example, employers can form support groups, set up adopt-a-smoker programs or hold lunchtime discussions for employees who want to quit.  Physicians can refer patients to Quit Services and display educational materials in their waiting rooms and play the Quit 2 Win video about two smokers who successfully quit.  Colleges can include Quit 2 Win materials in new student orientation packets.

 

          All needed materials may be downloaded from the web site -- posters, fact sheets, print ads, newsletter articles, a slide show and the video.  From the web site, visitors can even send an e-card, an electronic greeting card, to encourage someone they know who is trying to quit.

 

          Two companies doing business in New Jersey are supporting the campaign by offering discounts for nicotine replacement therapies to smokers who register to quit smoking with NJ Quitline.  CVS Pharmacy is offering a five percent discount on CVS brand products and GlaxoSmithKline is offering a $5 discount for Commit, Nicorette, and Nicoderm CQ.

 

          “As a former smoker, I know the challenge of breaking free of dependence on cigarettes,” said Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, senior assistant commissioner and state epidemiologist.  “But the good news is that once people stop smoking, the health benefits begin to accrue immediately.   Within two weeks, heart attack risk begins to drop and lung function begins to improve.  In five years, the risk of stroke is the same as a person who never smoked.”

 

          In 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General Report, Health Consequences of Smoking, the most comprehensive report ever issued on the health risks of tobacco use. It documents a causal link between smoking, 10 different cancers, and more than 20 other diseases and health problems.  The report concludes that smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and at every stage of life, but quitting has immediate and long term health benefits.

 

          Smoking is the leading cause of death, disease and disability in New Jersey, killing nearly 11,000 state residents each year annually.  Smoking-related diseases also generate nearly $2.5 billion in medical costs and another $2.2 billion in lost productivity in New Jersey each year.

                  

          Currently, 19.5 percent of New Jersey adults are smokers, compared with a median of  22.1 percent nationally in 2003.  New Jersey has set a goal of reducing that to 15 percent by 2010.

 

          Key medical societies have endorsed the Quit 2 Win campaign and are encouraging their members to counsel patients who smoke to quit using NJ Quit Services. In addition, REBEL (Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies) and REBEL2 the state’s youth anti-tobacco movement will participate in Quit 2 Win campaigns in New Jersey high schools and middle schools, respectively, to encourage adult smokers that they know to use the NJ Quit Services to quit.

 

          The Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) is sponsored by DHSS and funded with money from the increase in New Jersey’s cigarette excise tax as well as funds from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CTCP is designed to reduce the disease, disability, and death among New Jerseyans associated with the use of tobacco and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

 

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