KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 11/7/10, 10:30 AM

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Stephen Michael, Director, Arizona Smokers Helpline at the U of A College of Public Health.

The ASHLine offers free telephone counseling and Web-based quit services to and provides free training and technical assistance to healthcare providers statewide.

Michael says any tobacco user can call the Helpline.  He says for many people, quitting tobacco is the hardest thing they may do in their lifetime.  He says the ASHLine is funded by a tax on cigarettes approved by voters in 1995.  He says smokers today pay $8.00 for a pack of cigarettes, once all federal and state taxes are factored in.  He says 16.2 percent of Arizonans smoke.  The percentage of smokers in Pima County, he says, is 16.9 percent.

Michael says the ASHLine "quit coaches" are located in Arizona.  He says many of them are former smokers. He says they help smokers set goals, work toward a quit date and develop a personal quit plan.  He says the coaches work with smokers one-on-one to keep them on track.  He says WebQuit, similarly, is a web-based personal quit plan that allows any user to sign up and monitor their own progress when quitting tobacco.