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Apr 4, 2012 5:24 PM

TV ads impact Arizona smokers

TUCSON - New advertisements showing the debilitating affects of smoking are leaving a bad taste in the mouths of smokers.

Ashline, the Arizona Smokers' Helpline, has reported an increase in the number of calls from smokers wanting help to quit their habit. Stephen Michaels, from the agency said, "this is a campaign to kind of get those folks to come out of the closet and say you know this could be you next."

At Ashline, coaches are available to counsel smokers for free. Michaels said health is the number one reason smokers cite for wanting to quit. But state and national ads are doubling phone calls for help, "we hear a lot about the ads. Some people say, 'Oh, I saw that ad and it finally hit me, I really need to quit."

An estimated 700,000 Arizonans smoke; the majority are men between the ages of 30 and 60, Michaels explained.

The service averages about 500 calls a week but last week received 740, Michaels expects that number to reach 1,000 this week. He said the ads, though difficult to watch, are making an impact.

"It gets people to really think about the impact of smoking," Michael said. "It's not just about killing you, it's also about having these conditions you're going to live with for your entire life."

If you'd like information on how to quit smoking call 1-800-556-6222 or log on to ashline.org

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