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Health Experts: Quitting Smoking Benefits Your Wallet, Family, and Personal Health

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MORGANTOWN -

For many people January 1 was day one to quitting smoking.

The American Legacy Foundation said 34 percent of smokers try it each year as their new year's resolution.

Quitting isn't easy, but it's important to remember its benefits more than just your personal health.

"I think the first step is to set a quit date, which most have set for yesterday, and to reach out and get support," said Jayne Kinney a tobacco treatment specialist at WVU's School of Public Health.

The American Lung Association notes that smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide, but personal health is the tip of why people quit smoking. Quitting can benefit all family members.

"Second hand smoke is just as deadly if not worse," said Cameron Smith of Be Better Health.

And it's not just second-hand smoke.

The Mayo clinic also warns against third-hand smoke too. It said the residual tobacco left on surfaces like clothes, walls, and in cars can pose a threat to non-smokers.

Money is also a motivation when it comes to quitting.

"If someone smokes a pack a day that's a significant savings over time," said Smith.

Saving money on cigarettes is one way to look at it, another is savings on healthcare.

Smith said the average employers spends $3,000 a year more on healthcare for each smoker, and many healthcare providers offer discounts to individuals who don't smoke.

"On the individual level you also have the out of pocket expenses," said Smith. "We know that smokers are sick more often and even if your employer pays for your healthcare, you're going to the doctor more often and you're paying your co-pays."

But sometime wanting to quit, and quitting are very different. Kinney said some struggle to kick the habit because they are uninformed of methods and avenues that help can help them.

"They do not know about the quit line, they're not educated on the nicotine replacement therapies, the patch the gum, the lozenge. They aren't educated on the medications, the do not know how to approach and talk to their physicians," said Kinney.

There are many online resources including West Virginia Specific ones, including the West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention, American Lung Association, Become an Ex, Be Better Health, or call the West Virginia Quit Line at 1-877-966-8784.