Rising Tobacco Costs Bring Extra Incentive to Call Colorado Quitline

The 2005 New Year will bring more incentive than normal for Colorado residents to kick the tobacco habit -- the rising cost of tobacco. On January 1, 2005, the price of a pack of cigarettes will rise 64 cents. Smokeless tobacco, cigars and other tobacco products will see similar increases in price. But the Colorado Quitline, a tobacco-cessation counseling service, will remain free.

In November, Colorado voters approved amendment 35 to the Colorado Constitution raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 20 cents per pack to 84 cents per pack. The estimated $175 million in revenue will pay for expanded health coverage, chronic disease prevention and anti-tobacco programs, including the Quitline, in Colorado.

The Colorado Quitline is available to all Coloradoans who strive to lead a tobacco-free life. Each caller can choose to receive self-guided cessation information, or to enroll in an intensive telephone counseling program delivered by highly trained counselors. Information and counseling are available in English and Spanish. The Quitline is funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and operated by National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

The Colorado Quitline has proven to be an effective tool for helping tobacco users quit. Twenty eight percent of people using Quitline's telephone counseling services report being tobacco-free six months after finishing the program, compared with only 4.5% of Colorado smokers who attempt to quit on their own.

The Colorado Quitline phone number is 1-800-639-QUIT.

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