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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2007 11:00 pm

At the start of every year, many smokers make the promise to quit smoking once and for all, and with the new indoor smoking ban that passed this year, effective in May, more smokers than ever are looking to quit. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is offering Arizona Smoker's Helpline, where the public can talk to a quit tobacco counselor, listen to recorded tips, obtain a list of cessation programs in their area and learn about the best strategies for quitting; (800) 556-6222. ADHS also offers www.ashline.org, where people can view the effects of tobacco on health, learn how quitting tobacco affects the body from 20 minutes to 10 years. Find out, through quizzes, how addicted the smoker is and how much the habit costs. Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program is a free, six-week quit tobacco program that includes 60 to 90 minute classes that meet at a pre-scheduled time each week. Classes are facilitated by Arizona state certified treatment specialists, a researched-base curriculum, 50 percent off the retail price of nicotine replacement therapy and interactive discussion groups; (602) 372-7272. Chandler Regional Hospital offers free smoking cessation classes at its Chandler facility. Six weeks of classes are offered to anyone interested. Each week, the one-hour class includes interactive discussions on the benefits of quitting, techniques to handle cravings and triggers, stress management, information on the proper use of nicotine replacement therapy, relaxation techniques, the importance of a support system and more. Registration required; (602) 372-7272.

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