A coalition of groups that’s seeking to cut the number of smokers says the increased tobacco tax has provided an incentive to quit — but more needs to be done to help those who want to quit. Dan Ramsey of the American Lung Association says those who want to quit need more help. Ramsey has been a smoking cessation counselor.
Ramsey says smoking is not “a bad habit,” he says it is a “chronic medical condition” that requires harsh and sometimes stringent intervention. Ramsey says more treatment programs are important in helping Iowans overcome their smoking habit.
“Most smokers would like to quit, and most smokers have tried to quit at some point, but they don’t have any success, that’s how addictive nicotine can be,” Ramsey says. He says 76-percent of current smokers have tried to quit, with more than half trying to quit smoking multiple times.
Ramsey says the state needs to do more to ensure the people looking to stop smoking are getting the help they need.He says the state needs to offer more smoking cessation counseling with increased funding, along with more support groups. Ramsey says trying to quit is too tough to do on your own, and access to treatments such as patches and gum is important, as well as support from family and friends. Ramsey says spending on smoking cessation programs will pay off.
Ramsey says traditionally a state should spend between 210 to 290 dollars to get people to quit smoking. He says if you spend that amount of money, you get a lot high success rate. Ramsey spoke Monday as a new poll was released that shows over 50-percent of Iowans who have tried quitting smoking say the increase in the tobacco tax is their motivation.