ASHLine Client Highlighted on FOX 10 News

November 24, 2009

Don Ganster, a pharmacy technician who lives in Mesa, talks about how advice and support from the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline helped him quit and stay quit. Watch the rest of Don’s story on the Real Stories page at

Reassuring News for Proactive Quitlines

November 23, 2009

Anne Harding at Reuters Health released a news brief regarding a recent study of quitline effectiveness that demonstrates the power of proactive quitlines. Although the story focuses on the outcome of one study that indicates that reactive quitlines are no more effective than other self-help modes of quitting, she does continue to point out the power of a proactive quitline:

“Most quitlines supported by states offer proactive counseling, Dr. Lori Pbert, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, notes in an editorial accompanying the study. Also, she adds, research shows that the more frequently smokers receive callbacks, the more effective this type of counseling is.”

The Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine) has progressively recognized this and remains one of the most proactive quitlines in the country. Not only is the coaching proactive, but our outreach efforts are extremely proactive. When referrals are received, the ASHLine staff tries up to 5 times to reach a client to help them enroll or at least get a brief intervention with some self-help materials. read more…

Empower Pack Design Contest Deadline Extended

November 23, 2009

The Empower Pack contest flyerThrough a multi-agency partnership with the Phoenix Theatre, local kids are being asked to design The Empower Pack – a trio of superheroes dedicated to the principal of making healthy life choices.

Contest Deadline Extended to December 15, 2009

Designs can be submitted as pen & ink or pencil drawings, paintings, or computer-generated artwork. The winning entries will be used in printed materials, a Web site, and developed into costumes for a live stage performance put on by the Phoenix Theatre. Please help us engage Arizona youth to make healthy life choices by forwarding the contest flyer within your community networks:

download contest flyer

Wayne Tormala Talks Great American Smokeout

November 20, 2009

Great American Smokeout Today

November 19, 2009

By Stephanie A. Wilken, Sun Staff Writer
November 19, 2009

For Yumans who’ve been looking for an excuse to put out their cigarettes, today could be the day.

The Great American Smokeout helps make people aware of the many tools they can use to quit for good. PHOTO: Randy Hoeft/Yuma Sun

Thursday is the Great American Smokeout, and for more than 30 years, Americans have been using the day to help aid them in quitting smoking.

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2008, about 20 percent of Americans smoke, or about 46 million people. According to the survey, an estimated 20.8 million people had stopped smoking for one day or more during the preceding 12 months because they were trying to quit.

In Arizona, residents have a valuable resource, said Stephen Michael, Director of the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine), where residents can call and receive support to help them stop smoking. read more…

The Arizona Daily Star: Great American Smokeout

November 18, 2009

By Stephen Michael
Tucson, Arizona | Published: November 18, 2009

It’s that time again – Thursday is the Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society has promoted this worthy effort for more than 30 years.

Stephen Michael, Arizona Smokers' Helpline

Stephen Michael, Director Arizona Smokers' Helpline

The message may have changed slightly over the years, but the idea is still simple. Tobacco-related illnesses continue to be the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Putting down your cigarettes for just one day is a great way to start the journey to quitting tobacco all together.

At the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (ASHLine), we hear about the journey every day. For some, it is easier than it is for others. We work with Arizonans during the quitting process to prioritize to make the journey successful. read more…

Tobacco Execs Quickly Find Tax Loophole

November 18, 2009

The Associated Press
Updated: 11/18/2009

When President Barack Obama signed a law expanding children’s health insurance this spring, he slapped tobacco companies with huge tax increases to pay for it.

Tobacco Tax Loophole

Scott Bendett poses at his Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe in Albany, N.Y. PHOTO: The Associated Press

It didn’t take long for the companies to find a multimillion-dollar loophole.

As soon as the new law took effect, raising taxes on roll-your-own cigarettes from $1.10 to $24.78 a pound, companies adapted. They all but shut down their roll-your-own brands and reinvented them under a less-restricted, less-taxed category: pipe tobacco. It’s still destined to be rolled and smoked, but it’s taxed at barely a tenth the rate, $2.83 per pound.

Pipe tobacco is normally too coarse and moist to roll into a cigarette, but nothing says it has to be. In fact, the Obama administration says the only distinction between pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco is how it’s labeled, effectively giving tobacco marketing executives an opportunity to shape their own tax rate. read more…