Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 31, 2015
Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or (cell) 402-450-7318, or
Best New Year’s Resolution for Your Health:  Quit Smoking
Lincoln – If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past, you know it’s not easy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nicotine that is naturally found in tobacco may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. There’s no doubt about it, quitting smoking is hard and may take several attempts to finally quit for good.
"If you’ve tried to quit before and haven’t been successful, don’t give up or blame yourself. Remember that smokers can and do quit and you can too. Today, there are more former smokers in the U.S. than current smokers,” said Amanda Mortensen, Program Manager for Tobacco Free Nebraska.
According to the American Cancer Society, within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within two to three months, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. After one year of living tobacco free, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s. Ten years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking.
Want to quit? Here are some next steps:
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about the medications and over-the-counter products that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cessation support.
  • Find out if your employer has a cessation group or program. 
  • Call the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at The quitline is a program of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and has specially trained cessation counselors, written material and other resources to help people quit. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7 for Nebraska residents age 16 and older. Spanish-speaking callers may call 1-855-DEJELO.YA (855-355-3569) and there are mobile apps and texting support at
Most former smokers quit without using one of the treatments that scientific research has shown can work. However, the following methods are proven to be effective aids for smokers who want help: talking with a doctor or other healthcare provider (dentist, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, etc.) about quitting; a combination of some type of counseling, such as Quitline coaching or cessation group, along with a nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches, gum or prescription medication. A combination of medication and counseling is more effective than medication or counseling alone.
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