If your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, the director of a telephone hotline based in Iowa City wants you to call. “Quitline Iowa” director John Lowe says kicking the habit brings immediate health benefits. Lowe says you’ll immediately have more energy and you’ll smell better. Plus, he says there are long-term health benefits to quitting smoking whether you’re 15, 30 or 75 years old. About 21 percent of Iowans smoke. Lowe is making an appeal to those smokers: call 1-866-U-CAN-TRY. “A trained counselor/coach will answer the phone and work you through what’s the best way to approach your quitting,” Lowe says. The counselor will call you back to help the smoker through the process of stopping and then staying off cigarettes. Lowe says there are facilities available to help you quit and start 2006 “smoke-free.” The hotline’s staffed with people who have a background in counseling. Lowe says most are doctoral students. Each has gone through between 16 to 20 hours of training in how to work with smokers. Lowe is also director of the Iowa Tobacco Research Center which focuses on how to help people quit smoking and help those who have quit from relapsing. Lowe says the people who call Quitline Iowa have a 70 percent chance of quitting. The challenge is resisting the urge to smoke, and the hotline counselors are available to help people keep from lighting up. Lowe says you don’t have to go to your doctor anymore to get “the patch” to help stave off the desire for nicotine. Nicotine patches are now available “over the counter.” Quitline Iowa and Lowe’s research is financed by the state, partially with money tobacco companies paid Iowa as part of the legal settlement the industry reached with the states a few years ago.
You are here: / / Quitline Iowa open for Iowans who want to kick the habit