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If someone you know is smoking or using tobacco in another way, encourage him or her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. A national toll-free number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), can help people get the information they need to quit smoking. Callers to the number are routed to their state’s smoking cessation quitline or, in states that have not established quitlines, to one maintained by the National Cancer Institute. In addition, a Web site—www.smokefree.gov—from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers online advice and downloadable information to make stopping easier.

The bottom line: People who quit smoking can have immediate health benefits. Believe it or not, within 24 hours of quitting, a person’s blood pressure decreases and they have less of a chance of having a heart attack. Over the long haul, quitting means less chance of stroke, lung and other cancers, and coronary heart disease, and more chance for a long and healthy life.

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