This month’s launch of the CDC’s 2021 ‘Tips from Former Smokers’ marks the tenth year of this lifesaving awareness campaign. Over the past decade, the CDC estimates that the ‘Tips’ campaign has inspired more than 16.4 million smokers to make a quit attempt, with more than one million of them quitting for good.
This month also marks the release of a very special edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, featuring the critical roll tobacco cessation quitlines play in helping Americans get the help they need to quit.
Quitlines are proven to be an important part of our nation’s public health effort in helping people quit. In order to ensure quitlines can continue to reach smokers ready to quit, robust funding investments in state cessation programs are critical.
The Tennessee legislature should restore funding for the state tobacco prevention and cessation program to its previous level of $2 million in order to adequately fund all its work. This could include investments in its state quitline to help more smokers quit and should include investments in prevention given the ongoing youth vaping epidemic. In Tennessee, 22.1% of high school students use e-cigarettes.
As our 2021 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report states, Tennessee lawmakers should also raise the tobacco tax by $1.50 and equalize the tax for all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and close the loopholes in the statewide law restricting smoking. These measures coupled with restoring tobacco prevention funding will position Tennessee well to address the tobacco epidemic gripping our state.
Quitting is perhaps now more important than ever, yet smoking is a serious addiction. While most people know quitting smoking is the best thing to do for their health, quitting is difficult. Despite most smokers wanting to quit, only about one in 10 smokers successfully quit each year. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a full and healthy life. Ensuring Tennesseans can access the encouragement and support needed to overcome their tobacco addiction, including access to evidence-based treatments, is critical. For those inspired to quit, the
American Lung Association stands ready to support them with proven quit smoking methods, available through our Lung HelpLine as well as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Learn more about tobacco cessation, including the American Lung Association's Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA and proven-effective quit smoking program Freedom From Smoking® at Lung.org/ffs.