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LA County Residents Trying to Quit Smoking Can Get Free Nicotine Patches


March 16, 2012 - LOS ANGELES, CA

In an effort to further assist smokers attempting to quit smoking, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is providing a free four-week supply of nicotine patches to eligible Los Angeles County residents who call the California Smokers' Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887). The free nicotine patch giveaway is available for a limited time to Los Angeles County residents 18 years and older with a Los Angeles County mailing address.

Using the nicotine patch can increase a smoker's chances of successfully quitting smoking by reducing the physical withdrawal symptoms that can occur during the first weeks of quitting smoking. The patch is easy to use and can help smokers adjust to a smoke-free lifestyle by getting off nicotine slowly.

"Tobacco use continues to be the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the U.S.," said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, director and health officer for the LA County Department of Public Health. "We must do everything in our power to help county residents quit this deadly addiction and ensure that those who want help quitting know how and where to get it."

Despite the relatively low overall smoking rate (14.3 percent) in Los Angeles County, there are still more than one million adults and adolescents in the county who continue to smoke. And smoking rates among certain populations continue to be much higher than the general population, including African Americans, Asian males, LGBT, low-income individuals and those suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems. By providing free nicotine patches to county residents, the Department of Public Health aims to offset the costs associated with quitting smoking, making it easier for those who are ready to quit smoking to do so.

To help people who currently smoke or want to help a friend or relative quit smoking, Angelenos can visit LAQuits.com for information and resources about quitting, or call the California Smokers' Helpline 1-800-NO-BUTTS for free and confidential telephone counseling that has proven to double a smoker's chances of successfully quitting than if the smoker tried to do it alone. The service, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and TDD/TYY, also assists those trying to quit chewing tobacco and has experts to help teens and pregnant women quit. Additional information and smoking cessation tips can be found on the LA Quits Facebook page and Twitter @LAQuits.

About LA County Department of Public Health
The LA County Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit the YouTube channel at youtube.com/lapublichealth, find Public Health on facebook at facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow Public Health on twitter: LAPublicHealth

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