Letter to the Editor

More effective smoking policies necessary

Friday, March 19, 2010

To the Editor:

I want to thank you for the recent mention of the new report, "County Health Rankings," by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This report serves as a timely reminder that the health of our community affects us all. Putnam County ranked 11th for health factors, which includes tobacco use as one of the measures.

As Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation's tobacco control coordinator, I view this report as a reminder that more effective policies and affordable, accessible programs are needed within our community to help people quit smoking.

One such program currently in existence is our state's free tobacco quitline. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a program that provides free help for every smoker in our county who is ready to quit. Smokers can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit indianaquitline.net for free help from trained quit coaches. Smokers who enroll in the free Quitline program also have the opportunity for two weeks of free nicotine patches or gum.

This is an outstanding free resource that anyone can call seven days a week from 8 a.m. to midnight for more information on how to quit smoking. Assistance is also available for our local employers and healthcare providers who want to help their employees and patients quit.

Even if you do not smoke, it is likely that you know someone who does. I challenge you to take a moment and encourage that person to make a call to 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Helping Hoosiers quit smoking is something that we can all do and we'll all be better for it.


Meredith Williams

Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation