Department of Public Health launches new quit smoking campaign

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has just launched a new quit smoking public awareness campaign titled ‘Take the First Step.’

This new program’s initiative is to connect Massachusetts residents with specially trained coaches to help adults quit smoking, vaping, or using other tobacco or nicotine products. The program’s first step is to start by calling the Massachusetts Quitline or by visiting mass.gov/quitting.

The Quitline program, is a free program that gives adults looking to quit their tobacco or nicotine addiction an opportunity to work one-on-one with coaches and develop individualized plans.

“Make a plan, be prepared, and when you are making big life change, the best thing to do is to go into it with a clear head and be prepared to have a plan. Talk to your support. Go into it really being mindful about it,” said Sara Moriarty, Program Director at the Gandara Center.

According to a news release sent out be the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, “Residents can also enroll and receive coaching services online via e-chat. Medically eligible residents (18+) may get eight weeks of free quit medicines (patches, gums, lozenges) after talking with a quit coach.”

“DPH has a long history of smoking cessation programs aimed at reducing access to and the influence of tobacco and vaping products in our communities,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “Making the decision to quit smoking can be overwhelming. This program provides a pathway of support and resources for residents who want to stop using tobacco and nicotine products. It’s never too late to quit.”

Residents who enroll in this program are eligible for a variety of services such as:

  • Individualized plan and advice on medicines and alternatives to help with cravings
  • The program offers support for people who have struggled with quitting nicotine use before and need assistance
  • One-On-One counselors and quit-smoking groups to offer community support
  • Multilingual services and support: Languages include English, Spanish and Arabic-speaking coaches are available. Interpreter services are available for 200 languages.

According to the MDPH, there are more services available through 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which offers several specialized support programs:

  • Support for individuals who are currently pregnant
  • Support for individuals who use menthol products
  • American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program
  • Additional coaching and support for individuals who self-report having anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, or substance use disorder
  • Program for young adults who use tobacco or vape (ages 18-24, includes live text coaching)
  • Special support for youth ages 12-17 through a program called My Life, My Quit™

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