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ClearWay Minnesota(SM) Celebrates QUITPLAN(R) Services at the Capitol

Personal stories of QUITPLAN Services users on display

MINNEAPOLIS, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, ClearWay Minnesota will celebrate the efforts of Minnesotans who used the free, professional counseling from QUITPLAN(R) Services to successfully quit smoking with a series of photo exhibits in the State Capitol. The exhibits are on display from Sunday, March 16 - Sunday, March 30 in the North Corridor of State Capitol near the Rotunda.

"The Capitol display is an excellent opportunity for legislators and the public to learn about what ClearWay Minnesota has accomplished," said David Willoughby, ClearWay Minnesota Chief Executive Officer. "We've made tremendous progress in Minnesota by providing effective options for tobacco users to quit through our QUITPLAN Services. Now, we're looking forward to celebrating these success stories with our displays."

Three Minnesotans who struggled to go smoke-free are featured in personal photo exhibits, with information from the time they started smoking to their state of physical and emotional well-being today. In addition, another photo collage display represents more than 10,000 Minnesotans who have quit smoking with help from QUITPLAN Services.

The featured participants, who used QUITPLAN Services to help them stop smoking, include:
-- Robert Murphy: A former Twin Cities radio personality, he received

packages containing free cigarettes from the tobacco companies for more

than two decades, and developed a two-to-three pack habit for 45 years.

Although he still struggles with smoking from time to time, he has

found help through the QUITPLAN Helpline.

-- Yvonne Kennedy: Persuaded by friends to try a cigarette at age 12, she

continued smoking for 16 years, even through the birth of five

children. She quit for six months during her last pregnancy when she

learned she was having twins -- but, as soon as they were born, she had

another cigarette in the hospital. Years later, when her own health

began to suffer, she found support through a QUITPLAN Center with

one-to-one counseling.

-- Mark Struthers: A pack-a-day smoker for 20 years, he decided to quit

one Sunday morning while sitting at his home computer, smoking a

cigarette and reading the list of lung cancer symptoms online. As a

career counselor who helps other people plan for the future, he found

reassurance talking to a QUITPLAN Center counselor who helped him map

out a plan to end his tobacco use.

The personal photo essays feature the photography of Doug Beasley, founder and director of St. Paul-based Vision Quest Photographic Arts Center. Known for photography that emphasizes vision and personal expression in everyday life, his work has been exhibited internationally and is widely published. For the ClearWay Minnesota photo essay, Beasley used black and white photography to portray each smoker's personality.

Launched in 2001, QUITPLAN Services have helped more than 10,000 Minnesotans successfully quit smoking, and encompass five different programs to help smokers quit. Minnesotans can find out about all the QUITPLAN Services available to them by calling 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

QUITPLAN(R) Services for Minnesotans include:

-- The QUITPLAN(R) Helpline - The QUITPLAN Helpline, 1-888-354-PLAN

(7526), offers telephone counseling and free nicotine patches, lozenges

or gum to eligible callers.

-- - The website offers free lifetime membership, helpful

quitting tools and activities and the chance to connect online with

thousands of others who have chosen to quit tobacco.

-- QUITPLAN(R) Centers - QUITPLAN Centers provide in-person counseling in

a healthcare setting, as well as access to nicotine patches, lozenges

or gum.

-- Community-Tailored QUITPLAN(R) Centers - A combination of stop-smoking

tools and culturally-tailored counseling for communities of color.

-- QUITPLAN(R) at Work - The QUITPLAN at Work program offers free on-site

professional group counseling for eligible businesses with at least

eight employees ready to stop smoking.

About ClearWay Minnesota(SM)

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN(R) stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

Contact: Mike Sheldon

Communications Manager

(952) 767-1425

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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