SALT LAKE CITY -- Health officials say they're seeing a big jump in the number of Utah tobacco users seeking the state's help quitting.
Almost 1,100 people signed up in January for assistance with the Utah Department of Health's Tobacco Quit Line. That's a 70 percent increase from the average number of January enrollments over the past three years.
Quitting coaches at the free, confidential hotline are college graduates with training in motivational interviewing. Program organizers say the coaches are taught the psychology of smoking, and many have kicked the habit themselves and understand the challenges of quitting.
Health department officials credit a radio and TV ad campaign for the recent spurt. The latest campaign features an animated character named Kurtz who is urged to quit by everyone he knows, including his dog.