SOURCE: California Smokers' Helpline

March 30, 2007 12:49 ET

Don't Be Fooled by Big Tobacco - It's Healthier to Quit Smoking and It's Free

1-800-NO-BUTTS Doubles Quitting Success Rate

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 30, 2007 -- This April Fools' Day don't be fooled by tobacco companies' portrayal of smokers as cool, independent individuals. The reality is that most smokers are addicted to tobacco and the majority of them want to quit smoking, but struggle with their addiction.

"Year after year, tobacco companies downplay the harmful effects of smoking by spending billions of dollars to deceptively advertise tobacco use as glamorous and cool," said Gary Tedeschi, PhD, clinical director, of the 1-800-NO BUTTS helpline. "This April 1st, don't be fooled any longer. Stop smoking and you'll find out what 'cool' really feels like, both physically and financially."

From the first hour you quit smoking, your pulse slows to normal, your blood pressure decreases and, after 24 hours, your chance of a heart attack decreases. And, if you smoke a pack a day, you'll save nearly $1600 in your first year of quitting.

For Californians who want help to stop smoking, the 1-800-NO-BUTTS helpline offers free professional and confidential telephone counseling whether you are currently addicted to tobacco, have already quit or want information for a friend or relative. It also offers services to help individuals quit chewing tobacco and has experts who can work with teen smokers.

"Most cigarette smokers and tobacco users want to break their addiction and can really benefit from professional help through the process," said Tedeschi. "We provide services in six different languages, and the counseling is designed to help people prepare to quit and then follow them through the first part of their quit attempt, which can often be very difficult to do without some support."

Studies conducted by researchers at 1-800-NO-BUTTS have shown that smokers who used the telephone counseling service were twice as likely to quit smoking as those who tried to quit on their own.

In addition to telephone counseling, 1-800-NO-BUTTS offers quitting information, advice and resources on its Web site, www.NoButts.org. It also recommends www.TobaccoFreeCA.com, a resource for quitting smoking and eliminating tobacco everywhere in our daily lives.