More than 770,000, or roughly 11.1 percent, of Massachusetts residents are still puffing away on tobacco products. That's an awful lot of smokers in a day and age when many people have become health conscious.

New Bedford and Fall River have some of the highest smoking rates of the 351 communities in the Commonwealth.

The American Lung Association says tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Massachusetts, killing some 9,300 people each year. The ALA has launched a "Tobacco-Free 23" campaign to help smokers to kick the habit in 2023.

Lung Association Offers Help To Massachusetts Smokers To Quit
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According to the ALA, there are three reasons why 2023 is the year to quit tobacco for good: your health, the Food and Drug Administration is planning to halt the sale of menthol cigarettes, and you can inspire others.

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The ALA stated you can save between $2,230 and $4,360 annually by not smoking. The average price for a pack of cigarettes in Massachusetts is $11.26. In Rhode Island, it's $11.90.

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking can attest that it is no easy undertaking. Most of us try many times to quit smoking before achieving success.

Lung Association Offers Help To Massachusetts Smokers To Quit
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I overcame a 22-year-old tobacco addiction in 1992. If I can do it then you can, too.

The ALA said replacing tobacco products with e-cigarettes is not a good option as "e-cigarettes are tobacco products, and the FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit."

For help quitting, call ALA's Lung Helpline and visit the ALA's website for tips and information.

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