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Quitlines to help smokers quit. 1-800 QUITNOW
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Jonathan Foulds, PhD posted:
The recent SRNT conference in Toronto included some interesting presentations on the effects of quitlines and attempts to get more smokers to use them. Although about 65% of U.S. smokers are aware that telephone quitlines are available, only about 9% of smokers have ever called one, and in the United States only about 1% of smokers call each year. Dr Jessie Saul of the North American Quitline Consortium reported that in states that spend more on promotion, there is a much higher utilization rate (eg over 6% of smokers calling per year), and it is widely known that quitline calls spike dramatically when the phone number is publicized or when free nicotine replacement therapy is offered along with counseling.
So I thought that I should do my bit to remind you all of the services provided by quitlines, and encourage you to make use of them. Most developed countries, and every state in the United States provides a free telephone counseling service for smokers who want to quit. In the U.S. you can access your local state quitline by calling the national number: 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669). The services will almost always be able to answer simple questions about stopping smoking, but most provide a more helpful service in which they will do an assessment interview, arrange a quit plan, including a quit date, and will then call you back at arranged times to help guide you through your quitting process. The quitlines are typically able to arrange 4 call-back calls, and in some states they are also able to supply free nicotine patches. The people at the end of the phone (quitline counselors) are trained smoking cessation counselors, and there is good evidence that people who enroll in and use telephone counseling have a better chance of successfully quitting than those who do not.
So I would encourage all smokers who are thinking of quitting to call 1-800 QUITNOW (or the national quitline number in your country) and take advantage of this free service. I would also be interested to hear comments from those who have called telephone quitlines.
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