Phoenix-area pro and college coaches team up to urge smokers to quit

Nov 17, 2016, 2:45 PM

PHOENIX — Coaches of several area sports teams, including Arizona State football, the Phoenix Mercury, the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Coyotes, came together Thursday to urge smokers to quit.

They stressed the importance of having a good coach when trying to quit smoking. They are encouraged smokers to call the Arizona Smokers Help Line. When someone calls the ASHLine, that person can get a coach who will develop a plan to help that smoker quit.

“Know that you got people that care about you,” ASU football head coach Todd Graham said. “Know that you got people that are counting on you and family members that want you to have a victorious life.”

“There’s coaches all around us that are willing to help,” Phoenix Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello said. “All you need to do is just pick up the phone.”

Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said calling into the ASHLine can double a person’s chance of quitting tobacco.

“Qutting smoking, we know, is one of the hardest things to do,” she said. “Sometimes just having that coach to walk with you through quitting increases your successes.”

Those who call in can also receive four free weeks of nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or a patch. Christ said the plan is tailored to each individual and many of the coaches are former smokers themselves.

“They know what it is to stop smoking and how hard it is,” Christ said. “They’ve got that compassion and understanding.”

You can call the ASHLine at 800-556-6222.

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Phoenix-area pro and college coaches team up to urge smokers to quit