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Pennsylvania Offers Free Nicotine Patches, Support for Tobacco Users Trying to Quit

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Governor Rendell Proclaims January 24-30 as 'Determined To Quit' Week

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Health will provide free nicotine patches to help Pennsylvanians who are trying to quit tobacco starting Monday, Jan. 25. Kits will be offered -- while supplies last -- through the PA Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

The Nicotine Replacement Therapy, or NRT, kits were paid for by funding from a legal settlement with the tobacco industry. No taxpayer funds were used.

"While many people use the start of a new year to make a new attempt at quitting tobacco, we know that quitting isn't easy. It takes practice and support," said Secretary of Health Everette James. "We hope that by providing free Nicotine Replacement Therapy and one-on-one support offered through our Quitline, more individuals will stay motivated to become tobacco-free."

Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, as well as a significant contributor to health care costs. Research by the federal Centers for Disease Control found nearly one of every five deaths nationwide is related to smoking – a staggering 440,000 preventable deaths each year.

The NRT kit promotion is in conjunction with Determined to Quit week, Jan. 24 – 30, as proclaimed by Governor Edward G. Rendell. The week is intended to raise awareness about the many resources available to help residents quit smoking.

Individuals interested in receiving a free NRT kit must call the PA Free Quitline. Quit coaches will ask whether callers have any medical conditions that would rule out the safe use of nicotine patches.  The kit includes a four-week supply of nicotine patches as well as other information to help make the quit attempt successful.  Those who qualify must be willing to enroll in the Quitline coaching program and set an actual quit date.

The PA Free Quitline is administered by Free and Clear, a national leader in the development, evaluation and delivery of evidence-based tobacco cessation programs. There is no cost for the phone support, which can range from three to five coaching sessions.

Additional information and support is offered through www.determinedtoquit.com.  The Web site provides guidance in developing a quit plan, a quit companion and calculator, and video blogs of Pennsylvanians sharing their own stories about quitting tobacco.  Those quitting can also engage family and friends.

Last year, as part of Determined To Quit Week, the Department of Health provided more than 2,200 free NRT kits to Quitline callers. This is the NRT program's second year.

For more information about the state's cessation resources, call the PA Free Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Media contact: Stacy Kriedeman, 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health



RELATED LINKS
http://www.state.pa.us
http://www.determinedtoquit.com/

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