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Smoking is an addiction—and as most smokers know, quitting isn't easy. On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that all public housing agencies must implement smokefree policies throughout all residential units and common areas by July 31, 2018. This lifesaving rule will protect close to two million Americans living in public housing from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke but we also want to make sure we address the needs of residents who smoke and are ready to quit.

"We know that over 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but many don't know where to start or where to find support," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Smoking is an addiction, and we are committed to help public housing residents quit smoking if they're ready to do so."

The American Lung Association and Anthem Foundation have come together on the Smoking Cessation for Low Income Housing Residents initiative to give public housing residents in select communities access to proven-effective tobacco cessation services through the Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking® program.

As part of this initiative, the American Lung Association will work closely with public housing agencies and non-profit partners in select communities to provide free or low-cost quit smoking resources for public housing residents. Quit-smoking help is available online, through local in-person groups, and by phone.

Every year in the United States, 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. But quitting smoking is difficult and it can take many tries before someone is smokefree for good. 

Through this partnership, we're bringing communities together to show that with evidence-based programs and the support of others, quitting smoking is possible for everyone. Follow our work through #QuitBetterTogether. Because quitting really is better together.

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