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Michigan Tobacco Quit Line to Re-Open After Brief Hiatus

Contact: James McCurtis (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health, Department of

June 9, 2009

LANSING - The Michigan Tobacco Quit Line phones are back in service after they were mostly shut down for nearly three months due to a high volume of calls and limited funding. Michiganians who want to take advantage of the program and stop smoking or quit using other tobacco products can call the service at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), which is available 24- hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.

"We are glad to have the quit line back in operation earlier than expected," said Dr. Greg Holzman, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). "The incredible amount of calls before the quit line shut down shows us the importance of the service. We know at least 70 percent of smokers want to quit, and the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line is here to help."

Most of the quit-line services shut down in mid-March after an unprecedented amount of callers - more than 65,000 in five days and 92,000 in March - flooded the lines when nicotine replacement products, including nicotine patches, gum and lozenges were offered free of charge to callers. The high number of callers caused a budget constraint forcing the quit line to serve only Medicaid beneficiaries. The quit line was to resume service in October, however, the line opened earlier after funding became available for the program. The nicotine replacement products currently are not offered to callers.

When Michigan residents enroll with the quit line, they will receive a personal coach who will assist them in setting a quit date and making an individualized quit plan. The personal coach also will provide on-going support with up to five telephone coaching sessions around the caller's quit date, allowing the caller to gain confidence and retain motivation throughout the process of quitting.

The Michigan Tobacco Quit Line has received tens of thousands of calls since it was launched in October 2003. The quit line offers both English and Spanish-speaking counselors as well as interpretive services for a wide variety of languages.

For more information, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to www.michigan.gov/tobacco.

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