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QuitlineNC Offers Nicotine Replacement Therapy at No Cost for a Limited Time

RALEIGH, N.C. : April 5, 2013 - The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is providing extra help for North Carolina 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 (patches, gum or lozenges) available at no cost while supplies last for North Carolina residents who enroll in quit coaching.
“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.”
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 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.
North Carolina tobacco users can receive a limited supply of free nicotine replacement therapy after they enroll with QuitlineNC for a four-call program. 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.
Health officials say the combination of Quitline support and medication is a proven way to increase the odds that tobacco users will quit for good.
“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.
Why Quit?
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the US and in N.C. If that's not enough reason to quit, then consider the following:
If you are a one pack a day smoker, you can save over $1800 or more per year if you quit.
Within two weeks to three months of quitting your heart attack risk drops and your lung function improves.
It is important to know the difference between wanting to quit and needing to quit. Most people know that they need to quit, and are aware of the health effects of tobacco use.
Identify reasons you want to quit. To improve your health, for a loved one, so that you can enjoy playing sports, to take back control of your life...anything that motivates you. This can remind you why you want to quit.
Get support. Quitting is hard and any support that you can get can make it easier. Whether from a family member, a friend, or by calling QuitlineNC, you can get the support you need to help you quit using tobacco. Success rates are much higher for tobacco users who have support while trying to break their addiction.
Make a plan. Start by setting a quit date and tell your family, friends and co-workers so that they can support you in your attempt to quit using tobacco products. Think about the challenges you will face and how you can handle these challenges. If you need help making a plan QuitlineNC can help.
Get rid of the temptation. Remove all tobacco products from your environment.
Within 20 Minutes of Quitting...
• Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
• 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops.
• 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops to normal.
• Two weeks to three months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop. Your lung function begins to improve.
• One to nine months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
• One year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
• Five years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's five to 15 years after quitting.
• Ten years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
• Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.
The Benefits of Quitting: Compared to smokers, your...
• Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after five to 15 years of not smoking.
• Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are halved five years after smoking.
• Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting.
• Coronary heart disease risk is cut by half one year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting.
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit.
• Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half ten years after quitting.
• Ulcer risk drops after quitting.
• Bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting.
• Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting.
• Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting.
• Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
Quit to Protect Others from Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke (SHS) has been linked with health problems such as heart disease, heart attack, lung disease, lung cancer and some other cancers. Childhood exposure to SHS can lead to upper respiratory infections, breathing problems, ear infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and even behavioral problems and learning difficulties. Pregnant women exposed to SHS have increased risk of having a baby born too small, too soon, or having a baby die of SIDS.
Exposure to SHS is a preventable cause of many illnesses and deaths. Policies to stop smoking indoors reduce exposure to SHS, can reduce the number of cigarettes smoked each day and increase the number of smokers who quit.
In fact, many smokers choose to quit in order to protect their family members, friends, co-workers and others from the health hazards of SHS.