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State quits Quitline, kills Living Will Registry

Casualties of budget cuts include the state's free Quit Line, designed to help people stop smoking, as the Living Will Registry where people could record their living wills and durable powers of attorney.

As the Associated Press reported today, state Health Department dropped its participation in the Quitline, which offered free help to smokers. The number, 1-800-784-8669, still works. It's operated by the American Cancer Society, which refers callers who have private insurance or Medicaid, to stop-smoking help.

The department also stopped taking new entries in the Living Will Registry, which started four years ago and had received about 2,500 entries from people and had access to about 200 health care facilities. They remain on the registry, but no new submissions are being taken. The move saves the department about $104,000.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.