Colorado debuts new tools to help smokers quit in 2019
Summit Daily staff report
Those hoping to quit smoking as part of their New Year’s resolution will have a little extra help to accomplish their goal this January.
This year Colorado is rolling out new tools to assist smokers in kicking the habit, offering free web-based support and medications.
“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 at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
While many people try to quit smoking every year, most try to do it on their own. But research has proven that utilizing support systems, such as coaching or medication, can more than double the chances of successfully quitting.
New resources are available for free through the Colorado Quitline, including coaching online and over the phone, and four weeks of free nicotine patches or gum delivered to your door. The Colorado Quitline is available by phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or at CoQuitLine.org. Additionally, TobaccoFreeCo.org offers interactive content and tips for people at every stage of quitting.
Members of Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid program, can also access counseling and smoking cessation medications at no cost, and Medicaid providers in Colorado can now prescribe these medications without prior approval. Clients 18 years and older can visit participating Colorado pharmacies to request smoking cessation services without an appointment.
“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.”
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