Helping smokers quit is a top priority of a number of organizations.
One of them, the American Society of Internal Medicine, recently encouraged its 20,000 members to ban smoking from their waiting rooms and to provide information on quitting to patients. Another, the Washington Business Group on Health, told member corporations of the trend towards helping smokers quit at the worksite and the growing policy of refusing to hire people who smoke because of high medical costs.
Since smoking costs U.S. businesses an estimated $26 billion in lost productivity each year and runs up another $7 billion to $8 billion in annual smoking-related medical costs, it's no wonder that the number of worksite smoking cessation programs is increasing. In addition to on-the-job help, smokers who would like to quit can turn to numerous other organizations for free or low-cost help. Among them:
*Action on Smoking and Health, 2013 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006, 659-4310. Sells "No smoking" stickers, buttons and signs. 35 cents to $3.
*American Cancer Society, 1825 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 20009. 483-2600. Montgomery County: 11323 Amherst Ave., Silver Spring, Md. 20902. 933-9350. Prince George's: 5124 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, Md. 20781; 864-7361. Virginia area office: 346 Maple Ave. E., Vienna, Va.22180. 938-5550. Offers "Quitters Guide" and "Fresh Start" clinic.
*American Council on Science and Health, 47 Maple St., Summit, N.J. 07901; (201) 277-0024 or (212) 362-7044. "Searching for a Way Out" and "Smoking Or Health: It's Your Choice." Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with 39 cents postage for each booklet.
*American Heart Association, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 20007. 337-6400. Montgomery County: 7300 Whittier Blvd., Bethesda, Md. 20817; 229-8100. Northern Virginia: 4231 Markham St., Suite 225, Annandale, Va. 22003. 941-8500. Offers free "Calling It Quits" kits.
*American Lung Association, 475 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. 682-5864. Mid-Maryland: 170 Rollins Ave., Rockville, Md., 20852; 881-6852. Southern Maryland: 4400 Stamp Rd., Suite 403, Temple Hills, Md. 20748. 423-0520. Virginia: 9735 Main St., Fairfax, 22031. 591-6504. "Freedom from Smoking" kit, $7. "Freedom From Smoking" Clinic, $35.
*National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bdg. 31, Room 10A18, Bethesda, Md. 20892. 1-800-4-CANCER. Publishes free pamphlets, "Clearing the Air," "Why Do You Smoke?" and "Kicking the Habit."