Want to quit smoking? Nebraska Quitline offers help

November 23, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — Quitting tobacco can be a tough job, many try several times before succeeding. One Nebraska organization is making it easier for you to quit for good.

The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline has been offering a free Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the mail since Oct. 15 and, with a few other simple steps, is helping people quit. Any Nebraska resident age 18 or older is eligible to participate.

“You have one counseling call with a trained cessation Quitline coach who will work with the caller to determine what is the best option,” said Suzanne Forkner, community health education, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Coaches give you a choice of services, including telephone counseling, self-help materials, referrals to community programs or a combination of these.

Quitline coaches will determine a variety of factors, including medical eligibility, whether the caller may need to get a prescription from their doctor, and ask questions about pregnancy, cancer and chronic conditions. Forkner said the questions are necessary because coaches don’t know what medications a caller may be on and the goal is to get a person to quit tobacco safely.

“Nicotine levels in the NRT are so minimal that they won’t be harmful, but they want your doctor to be aware and make sure it’s OK,” she said.

The month of November sees several activities related to helping quit, including Nebraska Cessation Week and the Great American Smokeout, with a variety of aids to break the habit.

“There have been a lot of statewide activities that hopefully create more interest and spark an awareness about quitting,” Forkner said.

The kit is a two-week supply of over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy at no cost in either gum, patches or lozenges while supplies last.

Kits are mailed from Washington state and Forkner said she has received reports that it takes about a week to arrive in the mail.

“It’s a huge convenience for you,” she said.

Forkner also said all Nebraskans should be aware that the State of Nebraska is updating the DHHS website. Tentative changes go in effect in January and may affect many programs.

“If you’re looking for something on the website sometime in January, it should have a new look,” she said. “If you have problems, you should reach out to that particular program.”

In order to enroll in the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline, receive a coaching session and receive a free Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the mail, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or 1-855-DEJELO-YA (335-3569). All information you provide to the Quitline is confidential. The Quitline will work with you to develop a personalized quit plan, provide free, confidential support and counseling and is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages. For additional information about the Quitline, NRT promotion or educational resources visit QuitNow.ne.gov.

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