Lung Association Partners with Local Community Organizations in Kentucky to Help Smokers Quit for Good | American Lung Association

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Lung Association Partners with Local Community Organizations in Kentucky to Help Smokers Quit for Good

(March 31, 2016) - Louisville, KY

With support from the Anthem Foundation, the American Lung Association in Kentucky is partnering with local community organizations in Louisville, Lexington, Fulton and Ashland to help smokers quit for good by providing better access to proven-effective tobacco cessation services such as Freedom From Smoking®. These efforts will focus on populations at greater risk for tobacco-related disease due to smoking ratings and lack of access to affordable quit smoking resources.

"Access to free or low-cost quit smoking counseling and support is essential to helping individuals overcome smoking addiction, and through this collaboration we are doing just that," said Tami Cappelletti, Program Manager of the American Lung Association in Kentucky. "Connecting with local communities to let Kentucky residents know these resources are available to them is key to helping Americans quit smoking, both improving their lung health and preventing tobacco-related illnesses. We are proud to partner with the Anthem Foundation and local organizations who serve as trusted resources in communities across Kentucky."

In partnership with the Anthem Foundation, the American Lung Association in Kentucky is working with local organizations such as the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and the BREATHE research team' Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Department for Public Health; and the Kentucky State Leadership Academy for Wellness and Tobacco Cessation.

The American Lung Association in Kentucky plans to educate and empower individuals with a mental health diagnosis to maintain better lung health by providing appropriate resources and establishing mechanisms to sustain decreased smoking rates in this high need population.

"Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, but we know that quitting can be difficult," said Deb Moessner, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky. "We look forward to the opportunity to partner with the American Lung Association to help those in our local communities at most risk, quit smoking, improve their lung health, and prevent tobacco-related illnesses by bringing support and resources."

Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Smoking can cause or worsen numerous diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and more. ?

The American Lung Association will work with community partners to bring proven effective tobacco cessation programs such as Freedom From Smoking® which has helped over one million smokers quit. The Lung Association's quit smoking program is offered in-person, online and by phone and includes content on building a quit plan, medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smokefree for good.

To learn more about how to quit smoking, call the Lung Association's toll-free Lung Helpline 1-800-LUNGUSA, or learn more about Freedom From Smoking® at Lung.org/ffs. For media interested in speaking with an expert about lung health, tobacco use and tobacco policies, contact the American Lung Association IN Kentucky at Tami.Cappelletti@lung.org or 502-363-2652

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About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit foundation. Through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities in Kentucky. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's year-round Associate Giving program and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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