The Michigan Quit Line offers tobacco users several free services to help them quit. In addition to free nicotine replacement therapy like patches, gum, and lozenges, callers can schedule one-on-one telephone appointments with a personal health coach, request participant toolkits, or learn where smoking cessation classes are available in their communities.
According to Teresa Sington, who coordinates tobacco control activities for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, using nicotine replacement therapy with coaching, like that available at 800-QUIT-NOW can increase the likelihood participants will successfully quit smoking. “Quitting tobacco can be very difficult,” she said. “It’s important smokers use strategies that are proven to work or they can give up on quitting tobacco when they just really need a few good tools and motivation.” Coaching and nicotine replacement therapy are five times as successful as quitting “cold turkey”, she said.
As long as supplies last, Quitline callers will receive up to an eight-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to tobacco users who are age 18 years old and over and meet basic health requirements. The free program is available to all callers regardless of income or insurance status on a first come, first served basis. To be eligible, callers must enroll in cessation services with the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). When Michigan residents enroll with the Quitline, they will receive a personal coach who will assist them in setting a quit date and making an individualized quit plan. The personal coach also will provide on-going support with up to five telephone coaching sessions around the caller’s quit date. The Michigan Tobacco Quitline has received over 58,000 calls since it was launched in October, 2003. The Quitline offers both English and Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as interpretive services for a wide variety of languages.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information, call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visit their website at www.michigan.gov/tobacco.