Tobacco Prevention and Cessation News and Events 

37 th Annual Great American Smokeout, Thursday, November 15 

Every November, the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smokeout (GASO), a national event during which people who smoke are encouraged to quit for the day, with the hope that they will quit for good. 

This year, the 37th GASO will be held on Thursday, November 15, and the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is encouraging tobacco users to take advantage of the resources available to help them quit.

The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline can be reached by calling 1-800-Quit-Now or 1-800-784-8669. The Quitline provides free, supportive counseling to help you set a quit date, and stay motivated to quit. A two-week supply of free medication is also available, and quit plans are tailor-made to help you succeed.

To learn more about GASO, or to find out about how GASO is being celebrated around Arkansas click here:  

For community resources, moreinformation, or to speak to a TPCP staff call 501-661-2953.

Celebrate National Recovery Month Free From Nicotine Addiction

 Stamp Out Smoking encourages Arkansas tobacco users to celebrate National Recovery Month in September by seeking treatment from the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline to experience freedom from nicotine addiction.  Recovery Month promotes the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for those with mental and/or substance use disorders while celebrating people in recovery and their treatment providers.

“We support the message of Recovery Month that recovery in all its forms is possible,” said Carolyn Dresler, MD, medical director of the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP).  “Nicotine addiction is particularly difficult to overcome, but with proper support and treatment, Arkansans can beat tobacco use.” Read More>

Clear the Air Media and Educational Campaign Launches July 9, 2012

About the Let's Clear the Air Campaign - The Let's Clear the Air Campaign was created to educate Arkansans about the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke on workers and the benefits of comprehensive smoke-free policies.

The campaign was created by talking with real Arkansans who work, or have worked, in smoking environments, including a bartender, waitress and singer/musician.  See their stories on

Everyone deserves the right to breathe clean, safe air regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or occupation. Read More>

New Surgeon General's Report Calls on Arkanss to Make Next Generation Tobacco-Free

An estimated 23.5 percent of Arkansas high school students smoke cigarettes

Almost 50 years after the landmark 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on tobacco, Dr. Regina Benjamin, United States Surgeon General, released a new report and called on the nation to make the next generation tobacco-free. According to the report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, far too many youth and young adults are using tobacco. Today more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes. In Arkansas alone, an estimated 23.5 percent of high school students smoke.

Each day more than 1,200 people die due to smoking.  For every one of those deaths, at least two new youths or young adults become regular smokers.  And 90 percent of these replacement smokers smoke their first cigarette before they turn age 18.

In Arkansas, the latest data show that overall approximately 16,754 fewer Arkansas high school students are users of cigarettes now than in 2000. Nationwide, declines in the use of tobacco by youth and young adults have slowed for cigarette smoking and stalled for smokeless tobacco use after years of steady progress. Read More>

New Report Reveals Most States Are Not Quit-Friendly for Smokers

Most states are falling far short of providing the help that millions need to quit smoking, according to the American Lung Association’s “Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2011” report.  Arkansas did better than average, holding the rank as the 6th most quit-friendly state in the country according to the American Lung Association. The report calls on federal and state policymakers to make quit-smoking services an urgent priority to help citizens live longer and more productive lives. Read More>

Smoke-free cars for healthy Arkansas kids.

Young lungs are delicate and smoke can hinder their development. That’s why it’s now illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a child under 14 present. Drivers can be pulled over and ticketed if seen smoking with a child. For more information on Act 811 or help quitting, visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Let’s keep Arkansas cars smoke-free for healthy kids.

Information on the Law

  • The Arkansas Protection from Secondhand Smoke for Children Act, also known as Act 13, first passed in 2006.
  • Act 13 of 2006 protected children under 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds from secondhand smoke while in vehicles.
  • During the 88th General Assembly in 2011, Sen. Percy Malone, a Democrat from Arkadelphia, filed a bill to increase the age of protection for the law.
  • After passing the Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives, Governor Mike Beebe signed the bill into law on March 30, 2011.
  • The new law, called Act 811 of 2011, protects children under age 14 from secondhand smoke while in vehicles.
  • The law takes effect on July 27, 2011.
  • Violating the law is a primary offense, meaning drivers can be pulled over and ticketed if seen smoking in a vehicle with a child.
  • Violators must pay a $25 fine on their first offense, unless they can prove enrollment in a program to quit smoking.
  • Arkansas was the first state in the nation to implement a law protecting children from secondhand smoke in vehicles.
  • Other states such as California, Louisiana, Maine and Puerto Rico soon followed.

Information on Secondhand Smoke

  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, lower respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma and slowed lung growth.
  • 470 Arkansans die from secondhand smoke each year.
  • Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals – at least 69 of which cause cancer.
  • Children are especially vulnerable to health effects of secondhand smoke because their respiratory, immune and nervous systems are still developing.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.