Coalition urges tobacco users to quit on Friday

Out of some 1,740 adults in Moffat County who used tobacco last year, 918 tried to quit, the area's tobacco control coordinator said Wednesday.

Marilyn Hehr said Friday, which has been designated as World No Tobacco Day by the Coalition for World No Tobacco Day, is a good day for those who use tobacco to stop.

The day is part of a national and international coalition effort to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use.

"We would like for people to quit smoking and sometimes you just need a little push," Hehr said. "You need a little date, you need somebody to say, 'This is the time to do it.'"

Coalition members include the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Pan American Health Organization.

Hehr said statewide, 52.8 percent of tobacco users tried to quit but only three percent were successful.

"We would like to get our statistics a little bit better than that," Hehr said.

The coordinator said if tobacco use isn't curbed, the future for those users is bleak.

"By the year 2025, 500 million people worldwide will die of tobacco-related diseases," Hehr said. "That's a Vietnam War every day for 27 years. That's a Titanic every 43 minutes for 27 years. That's one death every 1.7 seconds. As concerned citizens, we need to fight the tobacco industry's deceptive marketing practices and save as many people as possible from a lifetime of tobacco addiction."

For those who would like to quit using tobacco but need some help, Colorado has established the Colorado Quitline. The free service offers counselors 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-639-QUIT(7848). Help is also accessible via the Internet at co.quitnet.com. Smoking cessation classes are also offered locally.

For more information on any of the services, call Marilyn Hehr

at 824-8233.

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