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Free resources available to quit smoking in Dane, Columbia counties

Wis. Quit Line has received 20,000 calls since opening in 2001, officials say

MADISON, Wis. - Dane and Columbia county officials remind residents there are free resources for anyone looking to quit smoking.

Anyone who smokes or uses tobacco and wants to quit can call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, according to a release. The Quit Line is funded by the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, part of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

"The benefits associated with quitting smoking are clearly substantial," Ryan Sheahan, of the Tobacco Free Columbia-Dane County Coalition, said in the release. "Quitting smoking not only reduces one's risk of lung, throat and cervical cancer, but can also lower one's blood pressure and risk of coronary heart disease."

Sheahan also said people who quit using tobacco have better smelling breath, say food tastes better, and the yellow tinge on their fingers and fingernails disappears.

"According to the Burden of Tobacco Report, there are approximately 60,000 smokers in Dane County and 7,500 in Columbia County which, ultimately, translates into a dramatic economic impact. Cigarette smoking causes Dane County over $237,000,000 in health care costs per year, as well as over $146,000,000 in lost productivity each year. Cigarette smoking causes Columbia County over $27,000,000 in health care costs per year, as well as over $16,900,000 in lost productivity each year," Sheahan said.

Since the Quit Line started in 2001 it has received more than 20,000 calls, according to the release. For more information about quitting smoking and tobacco use visit the Wisconsin Quite Line website.

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