The operator of the state hotline that helps people quit smoking says they’re seeing good success. John Lowe oversees the pilot project called “Quitline Iowa,” and says they don’t try to use a cookie cutter approach to helping smokers stop. He says they try to ascertain where the person is in the process so counselors can tailor their help to the individual smoker. Doctor Lowe, who works in the Tobacco Research Center at the University of Iowa, says they’ve been successful in pairing counseling with other methods. He says when counseling is included with nicotine replacement therapy, they can get almost 80-percent of the smokers to be able to be smokefree at some point. Lowe says their effort doesn’t stop once they get someone to put down the cigarettes. He says they want people to call Quitline when they’re having trouble. He says the line is available eight a.m. to midnight seven days a week and he says a person can pick up the phone anytime they’re thinking of having another cigarette after they’ve quit. Lowe says they try to work with people to help them deal with things that might make it tough to keep from smoking. He says they talk about their living environment. He says people may live with someone that’s not ready to stop smoking and they talk about how to deal with that. You can call Quitline Iowa toll free at:866-U-CAN-TRY (866-822-6879). Lowe says the program is paid for by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
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