Former Smoker Leading Effort to Help Others Kick the Habit

LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - The Arkansas Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is unveiling its newest Cessation Testimonial Campaign, featuring Alberta Faye Hires for the second time. 

She made her first debut in 2009, as part of the Cessation Campaign to promote the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline. A Quitline graduate, she took the first step toward a healthier lifestyle in 2008 and started running. One "quitter's" step in the right direction turned into thousands. The new Cessation Testimonial Campaign, which includes television, radio and print, reveals the milestones that Hires has achieved as a result of her commitment to a tobacco-free lifestyle-she doesn't just run marathons, she finishes them! 

More important than reaching and surpassing her personal fitness goals, Hires points out that one of her greatest achievements is serving as a positive role model for her grandchildren.  

"My grandchildren definitely benefit from me not smoking because I don't smoke around them," said Hires.  "They've never seen me with a cigarette, which is a wonderful feeling ... I'm a good role model for them, and it makes me feel really proud."

While personal health and family played a large role in her decision to quit smoking, Hires attributes much of her continued success to the support she received from her Quitcoach.

"It's a wonderful feeling to know that the Quitline is out there, and know that I can pick up the phone, I can call a coach. Or, I can go online to my original database and look at my goals, and I can reset new goals," said Hires. "You know, it's all about when you reach a goal, then you set bigger goals, and you set better goals ...this is a big deal. To quit smoking is a big decision to make, and it will change your life."

Hires' story is a powerful reminder to individuals-whether they use tobacco or not-that it is never too late to reclaim their health. For those who do use tobacco or nicotine products and want to stop, take it from a quitter who knows the true meaning of winning:

"The one thing I'd like to say to someone who wants to quit is that you don't have to be a product of your past. You can be a product of your future. Set your goals," said Hires.

Calling all quitters! The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline (click here) for more information) is here to help. Available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the Quitline greatly increases a tobacco user's success in quitting by offering a combination of free counseling sessions with a QuitCoach® and free nicotine-replacement therapy medications while supplies last. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.

Unlimited access is also given to Web Coach™, an interactive, online community that offers tools to quit, social support, and more information about quitting. 

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