Patches available to help quit smoking
Free patches and gum available beginning January 1, 2008
With New Year's resolutions right around the corner, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that beginning January 1, free nicotine patches and gum will be available through Quitline Iowa, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
"The availability of free nicotine replacement therapy products will greatly enhance Quitline Iowa's mission to help Iowans stop smoking or using spit tobacco," said IDPH Director, Tom Newton. "This is a significant step in saving lives and reducing the burden of health care costs to our state."
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in Iowa. Nicotine patches and gum provide a steady dose of nicotine that helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to break one's addiction to tobacco. People who use nicotine replacement therapy in conjunction with telephone counseling are at least two times more likely to be successful than people who don't.
Paid for by the $1.00 tax increase on cigarettes enacted in 2007, two-week's worth of free NRT products are available to any Iowan age 18 or older who calls Quitline Iowa. This benefit is available to callers once per year. Callers requesting patches or gum will be required to complete a brief health survey to make sure he or she does not have health problems that would be negatively impacted by nicotine replacement therapy. Callers will also be required to accept one to three follow-up calls so Quitline Iowa can determine the effectiveness of the program.
IDPH expects a large volume of calls to Quitline Iowa when the nicotine patches and gum become available on January 1. That day, the Quitline will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Quitline Iowa, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, is a toll-free, statewide smoking cessation telephone counseling hotline. Trained counselors provide callers with information about the health consequences of tobacco use, assistance in making an individualized quit plan, and on-going support through optional follow-up calls. The Quitline offers both English and Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as interpretive services for a wide variety of languages.
For more information, call 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW).