Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in Minnesota. People can help protect their health and their lungs by quitting smoking, chewing and vaping.
With Quit Partner being available online, by phone and by mail, Minnesotans looking to quit nicotine and improve their health during the COVID-19 outbreak don’t have to go at it alone. According to the CDC, smoking can compromise the immune system, which makes people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People can use as many of the support resources as they would like and can access them from home. Using coaching and medication together can more than double a person’s chance of successfully quitting.
“Our goal is to provide free quitting help to Minnesota residents when they want it and in the way that best meets their quitting needs. Most people who smoke want to quit, and we’re here to help,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. Free support includes phone and web coaching, text and email programs, and free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), like patches, gum or lozenges delivered to your door.
While fewer adults are using tobacco overall, some populations have higher than average rates of tobacco use. To help address these differences and to help people most at risk of nicotine use, Quit Partner offers specialized programs for people living with mental illnesses or substance use disorders, American Indian communities (American Indian Quitline), pregnant and post-partum women, and youth ages 13-17 (My Life, My Quit).
How can I promote or refer teens to My Life, My Quit?
Many young people know they need to stop smoking or vaping and may not know how to ask for help. While the decision to quit tobacco is always one teens must make themselves, here are several ways parents or other adults can help promote the My Life, My Quit program:
- Let teens know you are concerned about the impact of tobacco use, including vaping, on their current and long-term health.
- Tell them you want to support their plan to stop and ask if they will sign up for the My Life, My Quit program. Be sure to mention it is free and confidential.
- If they are not willing to enroll right then, provide them with information about how to enroll and let them know they have support to help them quit.
- If a teen is ready to get started, they can text, call or enroll online. It’s fast and simple.
- Some teens may want your help taking the first step of calling or sending the text. But remember, they need to do the work in order to be successful.
QUIT PARTNER http://www.quitpartnermn.com/ or CALL 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669)
MY LIFE, MY QUIT for teens https://mylifemyquit.com/index.html
THE AMERICAN INDIAN QUITLINE http://www.quitpartnermn.com/american-indian-quitline/
Smokefree Teen helps teens stop using tobacco by providing information grounded in scientific evidence and offering free tools that meet teens where they are – on their mobile phones. Program includes: text messaging program, quitSTART mobile app, and live help online chat. Visit Teen.Smokefree.gov.
Truth Initiative® e-cigarette quit program
A free text message program created with input from teens, college students and young adults who have attempted to, or successfully, quit e-cigarettes. It’s tailored by age group to give teens and young adults appropriate recommendations about quitting. The program also serves as a resource for parents looking to help their children who now vape.
To access the new e-cigarette quit program, users can text “QUIT” to (202) 804-9884. Users can also enroll in This is Quitting or BecomeAnEX®, free digital quit programs from Truth Initiative that integrate the text program.
Health plan quitlines
Health insurance companies have their own options. Youth and parents should check with their health plan. Call the number on the back of your insurance card to see what is available.
Asian Smokers Quitline https://www.asiansmokersquitline.org/
Smokefree Español https://espanol.smokefree.gov
Smokefree Veterans https://veterans.smokefree.gov/
Smokefree Women https://women.smokefree.gov/
Smokefree 60+ https://60plus.smokefree.gov/
LifeCare Medical Center also offers the American Lung Association’s, Freedom From Smoking, group classes.
For more information, contact Paula at 463-4301.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health
Contributor: Paula Hedlund, RN, LifeCare Wellness Coordinator