New campaign says the time to quit smoking is now

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Smoking was a habit Jared Le Plante picked up two and a half years ago despite knowing all of the health risks.

"I don’t even remember my first cigarette," Le Plante said. "It just kind of started happening I guess you could say."

Le Plante said he is trying to cut down the number of cigarettes he smokes a day to begin the process of quitting.

"It was really bad," he said. "I used to smoke well over a pack a day and now a pack lasts me three or four days, so I’m cutting back for sure."

Le Plante is part of the 21% of people in Mesa County who smoke.

Colorado's Department of Health and Environment has launched a new campaign and website aimed at getting people like Le Plante to stop the unhealthy habit.

"There really aren’t any cancers that we can prevent," said Debra Hesse, the cancer survivorship program coordinator at St. Mary's Cancer Center. "However, by not smoking or chewing tobacco, you can limit your risks of all cancers."

The Tobacco Free Colorado campaign visited Grand Junction's Main Street Thursday morning with an L-E-D light display and interactive games to warn people of the dangers of smoking and encourage smokers to quit.

"It can take up to seven attempts to quit," said Hesse. "So if somebody tried to quit once and started smoking again, don't give up just because you weren’t able to do it that one time."

The website provides resources for people looking to quit smoking and start living tobacco-free.

"Through this website you can get hooked up with the Colorado Quit Line," said Hesse. "They will provide you with resources, not just a person to help you, but they'll also provide free nicorette gum and the patches."

See related links below for the Tobacco Free CO website.

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