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Using Both Quit Lines And Websites Helps Smokers Stop

If you're resolved to quit smoking this year, it's arguably the one best thing you could do for your health. But it's not easy, so every bit of help is a good thing.

People who used both state-sponsored telephone quit lines and newer Web-based services to quit smoking were more successful, compared with people who just used one service, a study finds.

That might be because using the two different kinds of help makes it easier to quit, according to the study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published Wednesday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Or it could mean that they're more motivated, the researchers say — motivated enough to track down and try the different tools.

Almost 8,000 people in four states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida and Vermont-- participated in the study, which asked them seven months after they had signed up whether they'd smoked in the past 30 days. They were in their 40s, on average, and had started smoking as teenagers.

The people who used both quit lines and Web-based programs (like 802Quits, from Vermont) stayed off cigarettes slightly better than people who used only phone services, and considerably better than people who used Web tools alone.

State public health departments have a long history of success with stop-smoking quit lines, but there's not nearly as much evidence on the value of Web-based programs, which are newer. These data suggest that those websites may not yet be hitting the sweet spot when it comes to helping people stick with it.

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