New study shows half of all Hoosiers who smoke trying to quit - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New study shows half of all Hoosiers who smoke are trying to quit

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For years Indiana has consistently ranked as having one of the highest smoking rates in the entire country, but that may be changing.

A new study by Ball State found 26 percent of Hoosiers smoke, but according to that study, half of them tied to quit in 2011.

"I had a patient I remember when I was in training and he continued to smoke and slowly he just continued to lose toes," says Dr. Robert Rieti, a Pulmonary Specialist at St. Mary's.

He's talking about Buerger's Disease, a rare smoking related illness that causes patient's limbs to fall off.

Dr. Rieti treats patients with respiratory problems like chronic bronchitis, and asthma, often related to smoking.

He says he was pleasantly surprised to learn the study found 57.5 percent of Indiana smokers tried to kick the habit.

"A little bit because I was encouraged that so many were trying to stop. It seems as though the trend in Indiana is following the trend of the U.S.-- with a slow but steady decline.

The reality is that of all the people who try to quit, about 20 to 30 percent are successful.

What do specialists recommend?

"Talk to your physician, use the resources we have available. Like in southern Indiana we have the Vanderburgh County Health Department. It offers classes, or call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW, they can get live counseling," says Brian Kessler, Director of Respiratory Care at St. Mary's.

Dr. Rieti says the patients he see being most successful while trying to quit are the ones who do it for personal reasons.

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