Smokers get help to stop habit

OLYMPIA — A slew of resources are available to help Thurston County smokers kick the habit for a day — and maybe longer. That’s the word from local organizers of this year’s Great American Smokeout, observed today.

“Tobacco Free Thurston County, a program of TOGETHER!, joins the American Cancer Society and millions of former smokers nationwide in celebrating the Great American Smokeout,” said Patricia Coloma, TOGETHER! program director.

According to Coloma, 21 percent of adults and 16 percent of high school seniors in Thurston County smoke cigarettes.

The Great American Smokeout is a day a year designated to raise awareness that there is help available.

“Thousands of people quit or reduce their tobacco use on Great American Smokeout day with the support and camaraderie of people throughout the country,” Coloma said.

For information and assistance, try one of these other organizations that provide support for quitting:

n TOGETHER!: Helps prevent youth substance abuse. Information: Patricia Coloma, 360-493-2230, ext. 15, or

n Washington State Department of Health’s Quit Line: Cessation counseling and referrals; free and open 24 hours a day. Information: 800-784-8669,

n Free and Clear/Group Health Cooperative: Classes are available for groups and telephone-based counseling for individuals; free for members, $250 for nonmembers. Information: 800-462-5327,

n Stop Smoking Support Group/Providence St. Peter Hospital: Meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the hospital Cafeteria Gallery, free. Information: John Markham, 360-357-5297

n Providence Maternal Child Health Support Group: Seven-week cessation class open to the general public, free. Information: Gerri Boyer, 360-493-5934

n Capital Clubhouse: Six-week cessation class for adults with mental illness, free. Information: Sue Allen, 360-357-2582

n Pregnant Women’s Resources, Fresh Start Family/Providence Sound Home Care: Provides cessation support and resources for pregnant women, free. Information: 360-459-8311, 800-869-7062

n Kaiser Permanente Study: A study for teens ages 15-19 who are trying to quit. Free phone and Web-based support is available (participants do not need to be a Kaiser member). Information: 866-356-0211,

n Korean Women’s Association: Korean-language cessation counseling. Information: Dr. Soon Han, 253-535-4202

Keri Brenner writes for The Olympian. She can be reached at 360-754-5435 or

Online resources

National quit site:

Web site with a tobacco savings calculator:

American Lung Association of Washington Web site:

American Cancer Society Web site:,

Youth resources: