Smokers in Scott County committed to quitting tobacco in the new year and who are also affected by the economic downturn now have a valuable tool for quitting. With the typical pack-a-day Iowa smoker now spending nearly $1,900 per year on cigarettes, Quitline Iowa (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is doubling the amount of nicotine patches and gum available to callers during the month of January.

"The cost of smoking is high, both physically and financially. Quitline Iowa, a free resource, is making it easier for Iowans and Scott County residents to quit," said Brooke Barnes, Community Health Consultant, Tobacco-Free QC. "With many Iowans committing to quit their tobacco use in the new year, Quitline Iowa wil make it easier to stick to that resolution."

In Iowa, cigarettes cost $5.18 per pack on average, or about $36.00 per week for a pack-a-day smoker. Iowans can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to receive a free four-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lonzenges. Quitline Iowa also has specially trained quit coaches who help make individualized quit plans and offer ongoing support through follow-up calls. After January 31, Quitline Iowa will resume offering callers the two-week supply available throughout the year.

According to the most recent data from the Iowa Department of Public Health, about 15 percent of Iowans living in urban counties such as Scott County currently smoke. Among them, 85 percent say they wish to quit, mainly for health reasons. Nearly 20 percent, however, say their main reason for wanting to quit is the cost.

For more information, call 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW). To calculate how much tobacco costs you based on your brand and the amount you smoke, visit www.quitlineiowa.org. Help is also available for users of chewing tobacco.

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