Tag Archives: Quitline

Strive for a safer, healthier life in 2017

In 2017, be purposeful about changing habits, taking precautions and instituting preventive measures aimed at improving your health and quality of life. Making the right decisions could make 2017 your healthiest yet.

A few tips to consider

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you:

  • Be smokefree. If you are ready to quit, call the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or for services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569). Read this blog post to learn more. For more information on the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, visit the DHEC website.
  • Protect yourself from injury or disease by wearing a helmet when biking, using sunscreen when outdoors and insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses.
  • Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination or screening. Regular health exams and tests can help find problems early or even before they start.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection and illness.
  • Make healthy food choices. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, transfats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
  • Be active to improve overall health. Exercise. Also, try simple things such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

More information is available

For more assistance in making 2017 your healthiest year yet, visit the CDC website.

DHEC Helps South Carolinians Kick the Habit

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reminds smokers and tobacco users that the Great American Smokeout (GASO) on November 17 offers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of cessation resources available through the S.C. Tobacco Quitline.

Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, GASO encourages smokers to quit for 24 hours and to make a plan for quitting permanently. DHEC’s S.C. Tobacco Quitline, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, can help South Carolinians with one-on-one telephone coaching, web-based and text message support, assistance developing a personalized quit plan, and free nicotine replacement therapy to eligible callers.

“For a decade, DHEC’s statewide Quitline has provided free tobacco treatment and cessation counseling services to nearly 100,000 tobacco users in South Carolina,” said Sharon Biggers, director of DHEC’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. “Our agency is committed to promoting and protecting the health of all South Carolinians by helping tobacco users quit, preventing tobacco use and reducing the exposure to secondhand smoke.”

S.C. residents get free help

All South Carolinians who call the Quitline are guaranteed at least one free session with a trained quit coach and receive a Quit Kit. Callers who are uninsured, underinsured, are on Medicare or Medicaid, or are under age 18 are eligible for up to five free sessions with a quit coach, and pregnant/postpartum tobacco users can get up to 10 free sessions.  Online enrollment and 24/7 hours of operation have been introduced this year to increase accessibility.

“Anytime is a good time to quit, but the Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf,” said Biggers. “Call today and quit for keeps.”

Smokers seeking assistance can reach the S.C. Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or for services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

 10 Years of Quitline Success:

  • 110,841 calls received
  • 37% had no health insurance
  • 21% had Medicaid
  • 32% remained tobacco-free after 7-months
  • 52% were tobacco users with a chronic condition, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, coronary artery disease or cancer
  • 45% had a co-occurring mental health condition, like depression or anxiety, or a substance use disorder

For more information on the S.C. Tobacco Quitline, visit the DHEC website.

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions

By Bryony Wardell

The coming of a new year is an opportunity to make some positive changes, and 2016 could be your best year yet. Here are DHEC’s top 5 resolutions to live better – and we’ll even help you achieve them.

  1. Be A QuitterQuit Tobacco:  No matter how long you’ve used tobacco or what your age is – quitting this year will make a difference you can feel.You don’t have to go it alone!

    The S.C. Tobacco Quitline is a free counseling service that can help you deal with cravings, identify triggers, develop a quit plan and get free resources like nicotine gum and patches to help you quit. You can do it! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

  2. recycle binRecycle: Recycling is something easy that you can do that helps supports South Carolina’s economy and helps keep the state beautiful and clean.  Did you know that aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper, glass and a wide variety of other items like motor oil and tires can all be recycled?

    Some communities have curbside recycling programs or you can simply collect your recyclables and drop them off at a location nearby. You’ll be amazed at how many recyclables you collect! To find out what and where to recycle in your community, click here.

  3. Eat Well: Good nutrition plays an important role in helping you live a healthier, fuller life. Make a few easy choices to start your year off eating right:

    eat well apply pear tape-Switch out empty calorie snacks like potato chips with a fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt or carrot sticks with peanut butter or hummus.

    Trade in sodas and sweet tea for unsweet tea, water, or skim milk.

    Skip fried or fatty foods. Choose lean meats that are baked or broiled and dig in on raw, steamed or boiled fresh vegetables and whole grains. Learn more!

  4. Exercise: run on boardwalk air-quality-iStock_000001189470MediumKeeping your body moving can add years to your life and life to your years, and it can help you lose those pesky pounds too.

    Whether you like to walk, ride your bike, go to the gym or dance to your favorite music in your living room – getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day is a resolution you’ll love to keep.Find inspiration and exercise resources at Let’s Go SC – Move More.

  5. Make a Difference In Your Community: pick up litterLiving in a healthy community with clean air, water and land can improve your quality of life. And, you can help make it happen.

    – Put litter in the trash or recycling bin, not on the ground and help pick up litter in your community.

    – You can improve air quality with energy-saving habits like turning off the lights when you leave a room. Or, look for opportunities to drive less by carpooling or walking / cycling shorter distances.

    – Help keep SC’s rivers and coastal environments clean. Never dump trash, oil or debris of any kind down a drain, storm drain or into a waterway. Get more pollution prevention ideas here.

Whether you pick one resolution or five, 2016 is your opportunity to live better. For more information on helping healthy people living in healthy communities, please visit www.scdhec.gov.

More Good News for Our Tobacco Control Program

By Jennifer Read

An op-ed that ran in newspapers across South Carolina today highlights the success of our recent smoking cessation media campaign. From The State:

In the first two months of 2014, thanks to a Department of Health and Environmental Control media campaign outlining the dangers of smoking, the Quitline took more than 7,700 calls, or almost as many as in all of 2013. That shows what a little promotion can do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reached out to DHEC to learn how the agency achieved such success. It praised our state for utilizing effective ways to help tobacco users quit.

Our New Year’s Resolution media campaign broke monthly S.C. Tobacco Quitline call volume records for January and February 2014. Thanks to our promotional efforts, more than 7,700 South Carolinians called our Quitline to take the first steps in making 2014 a healthier, tobacco-free year.

Thank you to all of our staff members and community partners who continue to spread the word about this free resource that helps South Carolinians access the support services they need to successfully kick the habit.

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. Continue reading