New tools help Coloradans keep their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking

Michelle Lynch, Tobacco Cessation Supervisor| 303-692-2519|
DENVER – Free web-based support and medications are helping Coloradans keep their New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking for good.
Quitting smoking is among the most common New Year’s resolutions.
“The benefits of quitting are immediate and long-lasting, from finally tasting food to shaking that persistent cough to avoiding cancer, stroke and heart disease down the road,” said Dr. Tista Ghosh, interim chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Although many Colorado smokers try to quit each year, most try to do it on their own. Research has proven that using support, such as medication or coaching, can more than double the chances of quitting.
“Most people know smoking is bad for them, but they still struggle to quit,” said Ghosh. “Lots of Coloradans feel like a healthy life is out of reach, but they can quit by using free support available to them.”
New online resources are available for free through the Colorado QuitLine.
Thomas Ylioja, clinical director for the Colorado QuitLine, said, “As the needs and preferences of smokers change, QuitLine services are changing to meet those demands. We’ve added new features such as e-coaching, where clients can chat with a coach online rather than over the phone, if that’s what they’d prefer. Or, they can enroll online in a few minutes and receive coaching calls over the phone. Clients also can order nicotine patches or gum online and get it delivered to their door for free.”
Coloradans wanting to make a change in 2019 now have more ways than ever before to get help. Whether they’re looking for advice from a health care provider, hoping to make their own plan online, or just stopping by their local pharmacy, support to stop smoking is at their fingertips.
Quitting is hard, but Tobacco Free Colorado is here to help. The website offers free, interactive content and tips for people at every stage of the quit journey.
The Colorado QuitLine is available by phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or via its website where clients can enroll in just a few minutes. In addition to e-coaching, the QuitLine offers four weeks of free patches, gum or lozenges. Combining medication and coaching is the best way to quit, and now Coloradans can get free support from any phone, tablet or computer.
Members of Health First Colorado, Colorado's Medicaid Program, can access counseling and smoking cessation medications at no cost. Medicaid providers in Colorado can now also prescribe these medications without prior approval.
Pharmacists in Colorado now can prescribe smoking cessation medications to help people manage symptoms and increase chances of success. Clients 18 years of age or older can visit a participating Colorado pharmacy and request smoking cessation services. No appointment is needed.
Quitting smoking is the most important thing a smoker can do to be healthy. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in Colorado. But with so many new ways to get support, this may be the year to keep that New Year’s resolution to quit.