HEALTH: Free 8 week program starting Feb. to help smokers break habit

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Smoking is an addiction that can have deadly consequences.

In our state alone, thousands of people die every year from smoking-related diseases.

Starting in February, the Michigan Tobacco Quitline will be offering eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy to anyone who signs up for it.

It’s all in an effort to give people the resources they need, to work toward improving the health they want.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.

It kills about 480,000 Americans every year and for every person who dies from a smoking-related disease.

About 30 more suffer at least one serious illness from smoking. In Michigan, more than 16,000 people die each year from some sort of smoking-related disease.

Those include Lung Cancer, Emphysema, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD.

But, nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, and allowing them to do that through this two-month program, that they may not otherwise qualify to get the money for.

Health officials say it will do more than just help them put the cigarette out.

“The Quitline also offers referrals to provider offices as well as counselor services because we know that it’s not just nicotine replacement therapy and treatment that’s needed when someone’s trying to quit smoking,” Jennifer Eisner, Public Information Officer for the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services said. “They also need other support, so it really offers a variety of services, dependent on what that individual needs and how we can help them quit smoking.”

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can reach them at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

If you’re a smoker who wants to quit, or think a family member would benefit from a program like this, there are a lot of local resources here in the mid-Michigan area that are available to help you.

For all of the information you need to know: Click here.

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