A Happy, Tobacco-Free New Year

By Jamie Shuster

(The following post was originally sent as an email to DHEC Public Health staff on 12/31/13.)

Despite decades of health warnings, approximately 759,000 people in South Carolina still smoke.

From a public health perspective, there’s no better time to motivate South Carolinians to quit smoking than January because now is the time of year when people tend to set new health goals for themselves.

Over the next several weeks, you’re likely to see and hear our new smoking cessation messages on airwaves across the state. You can check out these new ads on our DHEC YouTube Channel. I encourage you to share one of our ads and our Quitline number (1-800-QUIT-NOW) on your personal social networks like Facebook and Twitter to help us spread the word about this great, FREE resource.

Folks who call the S.C. Tobacco Quitline can get up to five free sessions with a trained quit coach and referrals to local resources to help them kick the habit. Pregnant tobacco users can get up to 10 sessions with a quit coach. We also offer free nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum and lozenges for people who do not have health insurance.

Working together, we have the power to reach out to thousands of South Carolinians through our social networks and help our friends and loved ones enjoy a healthier, tobacco-free 2014.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy New Year.