North Carolina No. 1 in (trying) to quit smoking June 15, 2012 

— North Carolinians have sought help from the smoking addiction service QuitlineNC in record numbers this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

QuitlineNC is a free service that provides callers with information, coaching, and encouragement to quit their smoking addiction. The hotline, which started in 2005, has recorded more than 36,900 calls in the first half of 2012, more than in all of 2011. Use of QuitlineNC has also surpassed all 49 states who also participate in the service.

The are two reasons for the increase, said Ann Staples, spokeswoman for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch.

“In January we started a project offering free nicotine replacement therapy. These kinds of projects can lead to people becoming more involved with hotline services,” Staples said. “The CDC also held a national campaign against smoking and attached Quitline’s number to the campaign.”

North Carolina remains the nation’s largest tobacco producing state. The state government pays $3.2 million a year to run the hotline, 800-QUIT-NOW or 800-784-8669.

Stephens: 919-829-4563

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