Health Officials Offer Free Tobacco Cessation Support

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana tobacco users will be able to obtain free medication to help them quit smoking as part of an Indiana Tobacco Quitline promotion offered in conjunction with a nationwide smoking cessation campaign.

The promotion, scheduled from March 13 to April 2 or until supplies run out, will encourage smokers to call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free help getting medication, in the form of gum or patches, and quit assistance. It will coincide with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tips from Former Smokers national tobacco education campaign.

“We want anyone addicted to nicotine to know that although quitting is hard, they can do it,” said Miranda Spitznagle, director of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission at the ISDH. “Smokers 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 Hoosiers to try to quit and to take advantage of this opportunity for free help.”

To participate in the free offer, tobacco users must enroll in the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, which provides a trained coach who will work with them to create a personalized quit plan.

Although overcoming nicotine addiction can be difficult, Hoosiers quit smoking every day. Today, there are more former smokers than current smokers nationwide. Surveys have found that nearly 70 percent of all cigarette smokers want to quit, and research shows quitting at any age has health benefits. Stopping tobacco use:

  • Lowers your risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer
  • Reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
  • Lowers the risk of developing lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Reduces the risk of infertility
  • Reduces the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby

Counseling, including Quitline coaching, and medication are both effective in helping smokers quit, and using them together is more effective than using either one alone. Medications help smokers quit by decreasing urges to smoke and easing withdrawal symptoms.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Approximately 20 percent of Indiana adults smoke, and smoking kills 11,100 Hoosiers each year. More than 330,000 Hoosiers live with smoking-related diseases.

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is a service provided by the Indiana State Department of Health. Additional information on quitting is available at QuitNowIndiana.com or cdc.gov/tips.

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.

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