Tobacco is blamed in the deaths of about 44-hundred Iowans every year and state health officials are hoping the extension of a program this summer will help more smokers to quit. Jerilyn Oshel, a community health consultant at Iowa Department of Public Health, says a free nicotine replacement program is being extended starting July 1st, next Tuesday.
Oshel says, “If they use Quitline Iowa services by either calling 1-800-Quit-Now or quitlineiowa.org, they can receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy which will come in the form of patch, gum or a lozenge.” Those are considered three of the best options to help wanna-be non-smokers beat any nicotine withdrawal symptoms and quit for good.
Whether you pick the nicotine patches, gum or lozenges is up to you. “It is up to that person’s individual way of quitting,” Oshel says. “The quit coach that they will use with Quitline Iowa will talk them through the benefits of each one and which one would fit that person’s individual quit-plan better.” A little over 18-percent of Iowa adults smoke and tobacco is the leading cause of death for Iowans. It’s estimated the annual health care costs directly associated with tobacco use in Iowa exceed one-billion dollars.