TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is offering all phone coaching enrollees four weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy. Participants who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco can choose a lozenge, gum, or patch that will be mailed directly to their home. The Quitline will distribute the nicotine replacement therapy in 2-week doses after completing the 1st and 2nd phone coaching calls. The resources are being offered in connection with coaching and the campaign, Tips from Former Smokers, currently on the air and featuring real people to increase awareness of free quit-smoking resources among adults—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make.
Those who have used the pandemic as a reason to quit smoking are in good company. It is a popular goal and many people succeed. The 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey reports that there are more individuals who formerly smoked (24.4%) than currently smoke (16.6%) in Kansas. It also reports that 52% of Kansas adults stopped smoking for one day or longer because they tried to quit during the past 12 months.
“We want all tobacco users to know that although quitting is hard, they can do it,” said Matthew Schrock, KDHE Cessation Coordinator. “Individuals who smoke often try to quit several times before succeeding, but proven treatments and services are available that can improve your chances to quit for good. We encourage all Kansans to try to quit, and if they want free help, take advantage of this opportunity.”
The Kansas Tobacco Quitline is a great resource in which any resident 18 and older can receive free advice, counseling, support, and free nicotine replacement therapy (while supplies last). The Quitline phone number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Counseling, including Quitline coaching, and nicotine replacement therapy, including nicotine lozenge, gum and patch, are all effective in helping individuals who smoke quit. Using them together is more effective. Nicotine replacement therapy helps individuals who smoke quit by decreasing the urge to smoke and other withdrawal symptoms while quitting. According to the 2020 Kansas Tobacco Quitline Outcomes Report Summary, 90% of participants were satisfied with the Quitline coaches and counselors, and 93% were satisfied with the materials provided.
Additional information on quitting is available at ksquit.org.
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