Statistics for Southeast Missouri show this area of the state has the heaviest use of tobacco, more than any other part of Missouri. A 2007 survey, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Health and the Missouri Foundation for Health, shows counties in Southeast Missouri had 30 percent to 40 percent more smokers than other areas of the state.
A key finding of the survey: 73 percent of the smokers in Cape Girardeau County would like to quit.
The MFH, a not-for-profit entity funded by the sale several years ago of assets of Blue Cross when the not-for-profit insurer became a for-profit company, is underwriting stop-smoking programs aimed at Southeast Missouri tobacco users.
Among the tools the MFH hopes will help smokers quit are a toll-free quit line (1-800-784-8669) and a website (becomeanex.org). Both of these resources provide information about quit-smoking resources that are available, included one-on-one private counseling. The website also offers social networking for those who are giving up cigarettes.
Anyone who wants to stop smoking has good resources just a phone call or a click of the mouse away.