Native Americans in Michigan can receive help by calling 1-855-372-0037

American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program offers free nicotine, gum, or lozenges through May 31

SAULT STE. MARIE — Thinking about quitting commercial tobacco?  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is expanding its telephone and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) program to all Michigan residents through May 31.

During this time, the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program and the Michigan Tobacco Quitline will offer a free, two-week supply of nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges for all new enrollees who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.  American Indians looking to begin their commercial tobacco free journey may call 1-855-372-0037.  Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The program serves all ages, however, callers seeking NRT must be over 18 and meet basic health requirements.  Enrollees will receive a coach who will assist them in setting a quit date, choosing a nicotine replacement product that is right for them, and making an individualized quit plan.  The coach will provide support with up to four telephone coaching sessions scheduled around the caller’s quit date.

“Callers using NRT along with coaching, such as through a telephone-based service like 1-855-372-0037, can increase their chances of becoming smoke-free by five times the rate of someone quitting cold turkey,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive.  “Providing access to free NRT during this promotion might just be the jump start someone needs to quitting smoking tobacco for good.”

The American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program and the Michigan Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based service providing free telephone coaching for the uninsured, pregnant women, residents enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, veterans, cancer patients, and American Indians.  More than 100,000 calls have been received since the service launched in October 2003.

Over 40 percent of Native American adults in Michigan smoke cigarettes.  Quittng smoking can be difficult, but help is available.  Native American quit coaches are waiting to help smoking.  Over 30 percent of callers stay quit after six months.  For more information, call 1-855-372-0037 or visiting http://keepitsacred.itcmi.org/quitline.

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