Plenty Of Reasons For Smokers To Kick The Habit In New Year

CHICAGO (CBS) — If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, there are a number of incentives.

In addition to improving your own health and that of those around you, there’s also the cost to consider.

The state raised taxes on cigarettes this past June, and Cook County will hike its tax by one dollar a pack in March.

Respiratory Health Association President Joel Africk said quitting in the new year provides not only a chance to start fresh, but to avoid the cold weather.

State Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said, when smokers are ready, they should call 866-QUIT-YES (866-784-8937). Through the state’s tobacco quit line, smokers can get assigned a counselor, information about quitting and medication.

Hasbrouck said the quit line has fielded 25,000 calls so far this year. They’ve expanded hours and staff to take more calls.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health said the hotline now has 15 staffers answering phones from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Hasbrouck said attitudes about smoking are changing in Illinois.

He said 73 percent of residents forbid smoking in their own home in 2005. Now, that’s up to 82 percent.

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