New tools help Coloradans keep their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking
Abigail Kesner, Prevention Services Division|303-692-6293| Abigail.Kesner@state.co.us
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 27, 2017
DENVER - With new help from mobile technology, free medications and trained coaches, this could be the year you keep that New Year’s resolution to quit smoking.
“Quitting the Colorado way just got easier,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We’re working with new technology and committed partners to break down the barriers for all Coloradans ready to quit smoking.”
Although many Coloradans do not seek help to quit tobacco use, they are more likely to succeed when they do, though it may take several attempts. Research shows a combination of counseling and medication is most effective. Now, there are more options than ever for Coloradans to get help to quit smoking:
- #ThisIsQuitting is a mobile quit-smoking app designed for young adults by the Truth Initiative that provides a community of support for those trying to quit. You can download it for free from Apple and Android to get peer support from real Colorado quitters; text messaging help; and activities to help you manage cravings, avoid stress and get you through the day without smoking.
- The Colorado QuitLine is available by phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or at a new website that provides simple enrollment; a web-based quit plan with community support; and four weeks of free patches, gum or lozenges for eligible Coloradans.
- Chantix, an FDA-approved prescription medication to help smokers quit, is now available for free through the Colorado QuitLine.
- Health First Colorado now is providing tobacco cessation medications at local participating pharmacies and counseling for Medicaid members with no copay.
Smoking still is the leading cause of preventable death in Colorado, killing more than 5,000 each year. Tobacco use leads to cancer, heart disease, lung conditions and other chronic diseases. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs available and is particularly damaging to young, developing brains.
While tobacco use has declined over the past decade, youth, young adults and low-income Coloradans are especially vulnerable. Young working adults are nearly three times as likely to smoke as their college-educated peers, and smoking rates among low-income Coloradans are more than double those of their higher-income neighbors.
“For many Coloradans, a healthy lifestyle can be out of reach,” said Liz Whitley, director of the health department’s Prevention Services Division. “These new free resources can help Coloradans who want a healthier, smoke-free life.”