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SD QuitLine among most successful in nation

Need help quitting smoking? Call the South Dakota QuitLine, which has been proven the best service in the state -- and possibly, the nation. The national quit rate across the nation is around 30.3 percent, according to Jacob Parsons, the South Da...

Need help quitting smoking? Call the South Dakota QuitLine, which has been proven the best service in the state - and possibly, the nation.

The national quit rate across the nation is around 30.3 percent, according to Jacob Parsons, the South Dakota Tobacco Control Program Director. And in South Dakota, the rate was 42.9, percent, which was "significantly higher," Parsons said. The most recent data is from 2015, and the South Dakota service is still doing well, Parsons said. The 2015 statistics are the most recent available, with the 2016 results to be released later this year.

Since its establishment in January 2002, the QuitLine has received more than 90,000 calls, Parsons said. In 2015, there were 4,561 participants enrolled, and Parsons doesn't think it will slow down anytime soon.

"The service continues to be perceived very favorably by callers who requested coaching services, and nearly all respondents would utilize the service again if necessary," Parson said. "Overall, the South Dakota QuitLine continues to be among the highest ranked in the nation for both quit rates and comprehensive evidence-based services."

Parsons said South Dakota provides some of the most comprehensive services of any state QuitLine, which includes five sessions of coaching, plus the choice of one of five cessation medication for an eight-week period. There is no cost to the participant and the free telephone counseling sessions are provided by trained health coaches. Participants also receive written materials and cessation medications.

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With a recently debuted website, the South Dakota QuitLine, which is organized by the South Dakota Department of Health - Tobacco Control Program, continues to be as accessible as possible to those enrolled, according to Parsons. The program also runs a Facebook page, where it updates followers with up-to-date facts, that has gained nearly 13,000 likes.

This week, the QuitLine released new statistics for the state. The service said that tobacco accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and secondhand smoke can trigger asthma attacks.

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