The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing extra help for N.C. tobacco users who want to quit for good.
QuitlineNC, the state’s toll-free telephone and online support service to help tobacco users quit, is making nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum or lozenges, available at no cost while supplies last for North Carolina residents who enroll in quit coaching.
Each enrollee will develop a personalized quit plan with a quit coach. The supply of medication available to each individual varies, depending on insurance coverage, and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Tobacco use causes serious diseases that shorten life,” said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, M.D. “We want to support the efforts of smokers and other tobacco users who choose to take responsibility for their own health by quitting.”
In March, the University of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted a study of the 100 counties in North Carolina and ranked them based upon 25 health factors. Richmond County ranked as one of the unhealthiest counties in N.C., coming in at number 89.
The study found that 28 percent of the Richmond County population smokes.
“Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has been proven in well-designed research studies to significantly increase quit rates, especially when used in combination with cessation counseling such as QuitlineNC provides,” Wos said.
QuitlineNC has provided North Carolina tobacco users with quit coaching since 2005. More than 23,000 people used the service during 2012.
North Carolinians ready to quit smoking may call QuitlineNC at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit www.quitlinenc.com to sign up for the over-the-counter medication and support. QuitlineNC telephone service is offered in English and Spanish, with translation services available for other languages.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.