Quitline offers support

The Iowa Department of Public Health reminds Iowans who need help quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco of an incentive to enroll in Quitline Iowa as the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout arrives today.

As part of a new expanded offering that began in October, any participant who enrolls could be eligible for eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, either patches, gum or lozenges.

Iowans can take advantage of the program benefits offered by Quitline Iowa by calling (800) QUIT-NOW. The program gives participants access to a trained Quit Coach to help them achieve freedom from tobacco. The Quit Coach provides services including:

– Preparing participants for their Quit Date;

– Helping develop an individualized Quitting Plan;

– Providing tips and support to live in a smoke-free environment;

– Offering advice and information on medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms.

The Great American Smokeout grew out of an event in 1974, when the editor of a Minnesota newspaper organized the first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day. Two years later, on Nov. 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society successfully encouraged almost one million smokers to quit for the day. That event marked the first of what would become an annual event across the nation in 1977.

Tobacco users can call (800) 784-8669) or visit www.quitnow.net/iowa today to enroll in the program and talk to a Quit Coach. Registration specialists and Quit Coaches are available 24 hours a day.