Stop Smoking Series: All about Tobacco Quitlines

Tobacco QuitlinesEvery state has a tobacco quitline, typically paid for with funds from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. In 1998, the states settled Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco companies to recover their costs for treating tobacco-related illness, and the tobacco companies agreed to pay the state over $200 billion over 25 years.

Hundreds of thousands of smokers and chewers call quitlines every year, and the North American Quitline Consortium reports that depending on whether nicotine replacement therapy is part of the program, 30-day success rate ranges from 14–36%

The quitlines are telephonic tobacco cessation services that help smokers and chewers quit through phone coaching or counseling, medications, and education. Each quitline coach or counselor has had extensive training in tobacco addiction and best practices in quitting. The staff of each quitline stays up-to-date on the latest research in tobacco cessation and relapse prevention, and is trained to coach in the use of the various medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), antidepressants, and Chantix.

Each state determines how its quitline will provide services, including the hours of operation, whether medication will be offered, whether there will be a charge for participants, and the duration of the program. To find out more about your state’s quitline, call 1-800-QUIT NOW.

The coaching that you receive from a quitline is instrumental in helping you quit. The coach will discuss your smoking history with you, including your previous quit attempts. He or she will give you tips on quitting and strategies to deal with cravings. Many of these coaches are former smokers themselves and know what you’re going through; however, even if they have never smoked, the coaches are highly trained in helping you quit.

You will be encouraged to set a quit date either on the initial call or during a follow-up call. Setting a quit date is an important first step in your quit plan and signals your commitment to stop tobacco. The coaches will call you on a regular schedule throughout the program, and you are encouraged to call in any time you have issues or uncontrollable cravings.

All you have to lose is your tobacco addiction. Call your state’s quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW and get started creating a healthier you today.

 

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