Cumberland Times-News

December 9, 2012

New services in Md.’s tobacco counseling

For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

— BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control announced new services for the Maryland Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, just in time to help Marylanders to quit smoking in the new year.

Since 2006, the Maryland Tobacco Quitline has provided free proactive and reactive tobacco cessation counseling, along with nicotine replacement therapy to Marylanders.

The helpline now also offers these other enhancements: counselors available live 24/7; counseling services provided to teens (previously, services were available only to adults); an intensive pregnancy support program; enhanced online support offered through Web Coach (now including nicotine re-placement therapy)  at https://www. quitnow.net/maryland; and a text support program, Text2Quit.

“Many smokers use the New Year’s holiday as motivation to quit,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, secretary of DHMH. “This may be the most important resolution a soon to be former smoker ever makes.”

Since its establishment in 2006, the helpline has served more than 100,000 residents, and has a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate.

Individuals using quitlines have success rates up to seven times greater than those trying to quit alone.

CTPC also will host a free webinar, “Preparing to Quit,” from noon to 12:30 p.m., Dec. 20, to help those who plan to make New Year’s resolutions to give up smoking.

During the webinar, participants will learn how the helpline assists individuals  in developing a personalized quit plan, learn how to cope with triggers for tobacco use, find out about the health benefits of quitting and learn about the free services the helpline offers, including a demonstration of the new Web Coach and Text2Quit services.

Register for the webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/447046954.

It will be a new year, officials said. They encourage interested smokers to try the new helpline services and start a new, smoke-free life.