The city of Atlanta wants to be known as the greatest quitters in America.
When it comes to smoking cigarettes, that is.
Mayor Kasim Reed joined more than 30 state health leaders, patient and provider groups, and health care delivery systems this week in launching “Nobody Quits Like Georgia.” The new campaign – which is centered around awareness events all week in Atlanta and across the state – is dedicated to connecting Georgians with the tools and resources they need to quit smoking.
“Smoking is a personal health problem as well as a public health issue. I want all City of Atlanta employees and their families to have the resources they need to break the addiction of smoking and live a long, healthy life,” said Mayor Reed. “I encourage all of our employees to take advantage of the educational resources and support offered during this special week.”
Atlanta and state-level health care leaders are taking action because while the national smoking rate has fallen, more than 18 percent of adults in Georgia are still smoking.
Every year, tobacco use (second-hand smoke notwithstanding) kills more people than alcohol, automobile accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of disease and death in our state, killing more than 11,000 Georgians each year. Nearly one in six deaths in Georgia is related to smoking.
With events and activities throughout this week, “Nobody Quits Like Georgia” partners are offering assistance and resources to help smokers quit successfully. That’s because quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things a person can do, yet too many people try to quit without adequate support.
“The City of Atlanta is proud to participate in the “Nobody Quits Like Georgia” campaign, because as an employer, we are dedicated to helping smokers by connecting them with the tools they need to quit successfully,” said Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Cowser Yancy. “We are empowering smokers to talk to their doctors about quitting, helping doctors connect smokers with appropriate treatment, and supporting all Atlantans with the message that there is help now for anyone who wants to quit.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force last month recommended that Americans have access to a comprehensive quit-smoking benefit – all seven FDA-approved medications and all three forms of counseling. This recommendation is a huge step forward because the Affordable Care Act requires all preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to be covered at no cost through most health insurance plans.
Help is available through quit smoking options like the Georgia Quitline (1-877-270-STOP / 877-270-7867), local hospitals and online programs. Follow and engage with the campaign on social media using the hashtag #GAQuits.