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Free quit kits for smokers

If quitting smoking is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you don’t have to do it alone.

“Quitting smoking is a process,” said Sally Ancheta, coordinator of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii (CTFH) Tobacco-Free East Hawaii (TFEH) coalition.

To assist islanders in this quest, the coalition will be passing out its annual free January quit kits full of information on smoking cessation programs in East Hawaii, the 1-800-QUIT-NOW Hawaii State Tobacco Quitline, a stress-reliever cell phone toy, buttons, stickers and an opportunity to enter a free drawing for a $25 gift card.

The kits will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on Friday, Jan. 11, at two locations: from 6:30 to 8 a.m. off of Kilauea Avenue, across from Happy Valley Seafood Restaurant in the Hilo Shopping Center parking lot, and from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Malama Market in Honokaa.

Nearly 1,200 Hawaii residents die each year from diseases that can be attributed to smoking, according to officials of the statewide coalition. It and its East Hawaii partner are committed to educating smokers on the absolute necessity to quit their habit if they want to improve their chances for greater longevity and elevate their quality of life, starting with cleaner and healthier lungs, said Ancheta.

And this year, TFEH has even more incentive to help our community in the quit process,” said Ancheta. “We truly support the ‘No Smoking In Vehicles with Minors Present’ law, as there is not a safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.” according to TFEH Coalition coordinator, Sally Ancheta.

The project is supported by Hui Malama Ola Na `Oiwi Native Hawaiian Health System, the Hamakua Health Center, American Cancer Society-Hawaii Island Branch, University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Service, the UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy and others.

According to Ancheta, “The smoker’s first step in quitting smoking is making a commitment to quit. Most smokers need seven to 10 quit attempts before they are completely tobacco-free. The CTFH East Hawaii cessation partners are committed to helping smokers through the ups and downs of the quitting process, every step of the way, especially with our new laws in effect.”

This project is made possible by the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, East Hawaii. For more information to help you quit smoking today, please contact the Hawaii State Quitline at


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