Quitline Iowa saw a record number of calls in January looking for help to quit smoking. Quitline coordinator, Jeremy Whitaker, says over 5,000 people called for help in January.

Whitaker says a lot of the calls were driven by the offer of four weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges for anyone who called in to 1-800-QUIT-NOW. He says they had a great response when they made the same offer last year and were surprised to see an even bigger response this year. He says the chemical help is just part of what they offer, as free coaching is also an important part of trying to quit.

He says quitting smoking is a little different for everyone, and some people can quit with the four weeks of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges but other take more time and help to quit. Whitaker says January is traditionally their busiest year as people seek to quit smoking as part of a new year’s resolution. He says the economy has also been having an impact on people’s desire to quit.

Whitaker says a pack of cigarettes currently costs around $5.18, so if you smoke a pack-a-day, that is over $1,800  a year. He says that’s good financial incentive to quit, but he hopes people really want to quite for health reasons. While the offer of the free four-week supply of the nicotine products is over, Whitaker says the Quitline can still give you lot of help to quit smoking.

Just call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or go to:www.quitlineiowa.org. There were 5,284 calls to the quitline in January of this year, up one-thousand calls from last January.