Quit for love this February

Wondering what to give your Valentine this February? How about a promise to stay healthy and strong? If you’re a smoker, quitting would be the best gift this Valentine’s Day.

Mississippi ranks number one in heart disease deaths. Every year in Mississippi, smoking accounts for an estimated 5,250 premature deaths. Smoking can lead to sudden heart attacks or strokes, and can be a contributing factor in coronary artery disease. Smoking actually causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“There is plenty of help available for Mississippians who want to quit smoking,” said Leigh Lamkin, Director of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Attala, Leake and Winston Counties. “If you want to quit smoking, contact the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Quitline at

1-800-QUIT-NOW to receive free counseling and medications, such as a nicotine patch or gum.”

“February is American Heart Month, and is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention,” said Lamkin. “This is a great time for people to take the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones by quitting smoking.”

For more information on how you can quit smoking, contact the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Attala, Leake and Winston Counties at 601-906-5737. You may also contact the MSDH Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 or visit www.quitlinems.com.