Newsroom > DHHS News Release


November 17, 2008

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

For a public service announcement from Jackie Miller, DDS, Chief Administrator, Community Health Section, go to


Great American Smokeout is a Great Day to Quit Tobacco

Lincoln – If you’re a smoker or use chewing tobacco and have ever thought about quitting, November 20 is the day for you. It’s the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline, sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health’s Tobacco Free Nebraska program, can help you quit tobacco for good.

“The toll-free Quitline – 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) – gives Nebraska residents 24/7 access to tobacco cessation counseling and support services,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health.

When callers first call the Quitline they’re offered a range of services, including telephone counseling; self-help materials; referrals to local programs or a mix of these. If counseling is chosen, callers are offered a brief counseling session right away, and given the option to enroll in proactive counseling, where counselors call at times that best fit the caller’s schedule. All information provided to the Quitline is confidential and all calls and counseling sessions are free.

Studies have found that Quitlines can more than double a person’s chances of successfully quitting tobacco.

“Quitting tobacco use is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health,” noted Schaefer. “The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is an excellent day to take that first step toward improving your health.”

  • Within 20 minutes of smoking the last cigarette your blood pressure and pulse rate drops to normal.
  • Within 3 days: breathing is easier.
  • Within 2 to 3 months: circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and lung function increases up to 30%.
  • Within 1 year: your risk of coronary heart disease will be half that of a smoker.

All calls to the Quitline are answered by trained cessation counselors at the American Cancer Society.


This is the 33 rd annual Great American Smokeout. It began in 1976 to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day.