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Help available for quitting smoking

In an effort to help residents quit smoking, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services can help with free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges through Sept. 30.

Michigan residents are eligible for up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges. All of the replacement therapies are available to residents who call the MDHHS Quitline. Its number is 800-784-8669.

Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing about 480,000 Americans each year, said Kelley Mapes, Tobacco Treatment Specialist at the Tri-County Health Department.

She added that for every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, at least 30 more people suffer at least one serious illness from smoking.

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