There are no butts about it. Smoking is addictive, which can make it difficult to quit. The Great American Smoke Out, which took place on November 17th, can help jump start a new way of life. But, at least one member of the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Eau Claire thinks more can be done.
"We really need to do a better job of helping people understand what resources are available and why it's important to seek help because that's where the greatest likelihood of success is," said Julie Marlette, director of the Eau Claire Tobacco-Free Partnership.
The campaign started as a day dedicated to non-smoking. But over the years, it has evolved into a day to raise awareness and to reflect on cigarette usage.
Smoking rates have declines in previous years, but lately that has not been the case.
"We are seeing more plateauing now. Rates aren't continually dropping like they did in the past. The improvements are in smaller increments. So, it's still a challenge to help people quit."
The best way to leave smoking behind is by combining counseling with nicotine replacement medications, such as the patch or Zyban.
For telephone counseling, call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP. You can also contact the Eau Claire Tobacco-Free Partnership to get more information on available counseling and more information about nicotine replacement medications. Their phone number is (715)839-4718