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Michigan Tobacco Quit Line Shuts Down

March 16, 2009

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) announced today that the Tobacco Quit Line has been shut down through the end of September due to an extremely high volume of calls in the past five days for free nicotine replacement products.

All of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products have been distributed. Since MDCH announced on Wednesday that it was launching the free NRT campaign through the end of April, the Quit Line received more than 65,600 callers in five days. The Quit Line, which offers enrollees a two-month supply of either nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, received more than 21,000 calls on the first day and 2,169 have enrolled in the program so far.

Compare those numbers to the last free NRT campaign in August when 1,320 people called and 1,110 completed enrollment and in September when 18,724 people called and 2,114 completed enrollment.

Typically the quit line receives 20 to 40 calls every 15 minutes. A high volume day yields some 100 to 200 calls. The quit line has the capacity to receive up to 599 calls simultaneously. More than 400 staff members have been fielding phone calls.