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QUITPLAN(R) Services Can Help Make Valentine's Day Smoke-Free
Date:2/14/2008

Stop-smoking services available for all Minnesotans

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Many smokers find it helpful to use a significant day such as a birthday or holiday as a "quit date." Valentine's Day, the holiday celebrating romance, can be the perfect day to quit smoking for that special someone, and Minnesotans have free professional help available to them through QUITPLAN Services from ClearWay Minnesota(SM).

Some romantic benefits of quitting, such as not smelling like smoke, are obvious, but tobacco use has an impact on the wallet as well. Quitting smoking not only improves personal health and hygiene, but also frees up money to spend on Valentine's Day gifts.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes nationally is $4.43. That means someone who smokes a pack a day spends $31.01 per week on tobacco, or just over $1,600 per year. Consider what the cost of a few packs of cigarettes could buy one's Valentine:

-- A box of chocolates ($30) = seven packs of cigarettes

-- A dozen red roses ($60) = 14 packs of cigarettes

-- A 14-karat gold necklace ($150) = 34 packs of cigarettes

In addition, dealing with the side effects of smoking, like smoky clothes, yellow fingernails and stained teeth, can cause additional hits to the pocketbook. A professional manicure can run $50, which could buy a bottle of champagne and strawberries for Valentine's dinner. Professional-grade teeth whitening products retail for $200, which could cover dinner, drinks, dessert and a movie for that special someone. Lastly, dry cleaning a suit one extra time a month costs about $144 a year, which could be used to buy two tickets to a big show.

"With the cost of cigarettes averaging more than $4 a pack, smoking is not only unhealthy, but expensive," said David Willoughby, ClearWay Minnesota Chief Executive Officer. "Fortunately, Minnesotans who want to quit smoking and save money don't have to go it alone. QUITPLAN Services can help make Valentine's Day smoke-free for you and your loved ones."

In addition to being costly to the smoker, tobacco use takes its toll on all Minnesotans. Each year, 5,600 Minnesotans die from tobacco related diseases, and the cost of smoking is estimated to be $2 billion in direct health care costs. Minnesotans can find out about all the free help to quit smoking through QUITPLAN Services 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.

-- quitplan.com -- 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 clearwaymn.org.

Contact: Mike Sheldon

Communications Manager

(952) 767-1425


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

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