More Smokers Trying to Quit

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The price of cigarettes is hitting smokers even harder Wednesday after the federal tax went up this 62 cents more per pack.

"I'm up to about two packs of cigarettes a day now," Dave Alexander, a smoker, said.

Alexander has been smoking for 50 years; a habit that over time has become more and more expensive.

"I never dreamed that they'd get this high," he said.

"When it hits them in the pocket book, that's when it really matters, and there are a lot of people that are upset and angry over it," Stephanie Davis, program director for the Washington County Tobacco Prevention Program, said.

Davis would rather see people quit for their health, but when the prices go up, the number of people lighting up goes down, or at least they try.

Phyllis Longgrear spends much of her time helping others, and six years ago she did something to help herself.

"I tried, made many attempts because I smoked for many many years, she said.

And finally after seeking professional help, Longgrear was able to kick the habit.

"I asked my neighbors after I quit, 'why did you not tell me how I smelled?' because once I discovered it, I thought 'oh boy that's bad.,'" she said.

Now smokers like Alexander are hoping to follow that same path.

"I'm gonna have to ask the doctor if he's got something that maybe can either slow me down or quit," he said.

Quitting an old friend, but gaining a healthy and more affordable future.

For anyone trying to quit smoking, you can reach the Washington County Tobacco Prevention Program at 740-374-2229.

The program is completely funded by grants, and therefore all services are free.

Davis says absolutely no tax dollars go into the program.

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