Wednesday's big hike in federal cigarette taxes has driven record numbers of smokers to tobacco quit lines in many states, the Associated Press reported.
On Monday, President Barack Obama signed a law raising cigarette taxes from 39 cents to $1.01 a pack, and from 19.5 cents to 50 cents per pound for chewing tobacco. Calls to National Jewish Health hot lines in six states -- Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico and Ohio -- have been growing this past month but tripled on Monday, the AP said.
Meanwhile, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids told the wire service that Michigan's hot line, which gives out free nicotine patches, ran out of money in March after getting 65,000 calls, more than three times that for all of 2008.
Arkansas stopped advertising its stop-smoking program after calls soared from 500 a week in January to 2,000 in mid-March, the campaign told AP, and Indiana and Oklahoma also reported record calls.