istock_000002954197largesmLast week we announced that the adult smoking rate in Arizona is at an all-time low. New data from the CDC shows the 2015 adult smoking rate in Arizona dropped to a historic low of 14 percent, down from 19.3 percent in 2011. This decrease translates to more than 200,000 Arizonans who quit smoking over the last five years. Smoking is a leading cause of death in the United States and Arizona, which is why helping people quit smoking is a top priority for our Department and the State.

The impact this drop has on our state reaches far beyond the 200,000 people who made the positive choice to quit smoking. Secondhand smoke is also harmful to family members who don’t smoke, especially children.

The more people who make the choice to quit, the more lives will be improved in Arizona . As the saying goes, when you quit tobacco, you put more years in your life and more life in your years.

To help people quit smoking, the we operate the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline, or ASHLine. The ASHLine offers free individual counseling to people who want to quit any tobacco product. The ASHLine can also offer free nicotine replacement therapy such as the patch, lozenges, and nicotine gum for up to four weeks. Anyone interested in quitting smoking can call the ASHLine at 1-800-556-6222

In November we will launch a new public awareness campaign with several high-profile community partners to encourage more people to make the decision to quit smoking and call the ASHLine.