BOSTON – In an effort to advance smoking cessation efforts, Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced the availability of resources for Massachusetts residents. The announcement coincides with the national American Cancer Society event known as the ‘Great American Smokeout’ where smokers from across the country commit to quitting.

“Tobacco and nicotine use remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Massachusetts,” said Senator Moore. “The Commonwealth and its residents spend more than four billion dollars in tobacco-related healthcare costs each year, and the facts show that smoking practices begin at a young age. Quitting can be hard, but the right planning and support makes all the difference.”

The Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline, 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) is a free service available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to help coach and support individuals through the quitting process.

“The Great American Smokeout is a day to remind smokers that even quitting for a day is a good start,” said Tina Grosowsky, Project Coordinator at the Central MA Tobacco Free Community Partnership. “We know quitting smoking can be hard but there are ways to make it easier. Using quit-smoking medicines and counseling support can make you more than twice as likely to quit for good!”

A 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine found that 9 out of 10 daily smokers first tried a cigarette before age 19. Earlier this year, the Senate took action to pass an omnibus bill that seeks to reduce tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth. Among other provisions, the legislation will prohibit the sale of all tobacco and nicotine delivery products to individuals under the age of 21. The bill is currently before the House of Representatives for consideration.

For additional information and resources on quitting, please visit http://makesmokinghistory.org/.