State Quitline Offers Free Nicotine-Replacement Therapy to Help Arkansans Keep New Year’s Resolutions
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 4, 2012) – Every year, countless Arkansans make New Year’s resolutions to become tobacco-free. Thanks to the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline, tobacco users throughout the state have access to free medication and cessation counseling to help them keep their 2012 resolutions to quit. Stamp Out Smoking encourages tobacco users to reach the Quitline by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669 this new year.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, each year in Arkansas 4,900 adults die from their own smoking, and there are currently 64,000 kids under age 18 alive in Arkansas who will ultimately die prematurely from a smoking-related cause. Smoking also puts users at risk for health problems including cancer, cardiovascular disease and adverse reproductive effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quitting smoking will positively affect a tobacco user’s health for years to come. The risk of coronary heart disease is cut by half only one year after quitting. In as little as five years, the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a person who never smoked, and lung cancer risks drop by up to half after 10 years of being tobacco- free. It is never too late to stop smoking and begin living a healthier life.
“We recognize that quitting tobacco isn’t easy, and that’s why we’re glad we can provide services like the Quitline to help,” said Dr. Carolyn Dresler, medical director of the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. “We hope Arkansas tobacco users will take advantage of their New Year’s resolutions to make a fresh start and work toward a tobacco-free life with the support of the Quitline.”
The Quitline services are absolutely free, confidential, and easy to access, and offer a combination of motivational counseling with a trained Quit CoachÒ and free medications while supplies last. Callers receive five one-on-one phone sessions with a QuitCoach® tailored to the individual’s specific needs and unlimited access to Web Coach™, an interactive, online community that offers tools to quit, social support and more information about quitting. The service can be accessed seven days, 24 hours a day and is available in English, Spanish and additional languages as needed, including Marshallese. Tobacco users receive free customized assistance to fit their needs and can select their own quit date. A recent evaluation of the Quitline shows that 33 percent of callers that used counseling and medication were tobacco-free after seven months.
Stamp Out Smoking is the media and public education campaign of the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program (TPCP). The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline is managed by TPCP and operated by Alere Wellbeing, Inc., a company providing evidence-based tobacco cessation services to more than 28 states in the country. For more information, visit stampoutsmoking.com or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to quit smoking.