Smoking

BOISE - Studies show it may take several tries before you’re able to quit tobacco for good. Quitting can be challenging, but the right support for your quit journey increases your chances of quitting for good.

Idahoans who want to quit tobacco products, including cigarettes, chew, and vapes, have access to free programs to help them on their quit journey. In addition to the current cessation programs for adults, youth, pregnant women and tribal members, the Department of Health and Welfare and Project Filter recently announced an enhanced tobacco cessation program for adults 18 and older who are living with conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD and substance use disorders.

New research suggests communities are facing increased mental health challenges, including stress, depression, suicidal ideation, and higher substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quitting tobacco can improve mental health and can provide people with the tools to quit other substance addictions too.

Research shows that people who report mental health and substance use disorders have higher rates of tobacco use and lower rates of quitting. In fact, more than one-third of all tobacco used in the United States is consumed by people with a behavioral health condition. Idaho’s QuitLine vendor reports that more than half of QuitLine callers report at least one condition and nearly 1 in 3 callers report multiple behavioral health conditions that impact their ability to quit tobacco. Research suggests people with behavioral health conditions want to quit and often need more intensive support to help with stress.

As part of the new program, participants receive:

  • Seven scheduled telephone coaching sessions over three months, focused on coping techniques to manage stress and development of a personalized quit plan.
  • Specially trained tobacco treatment coaches who understand behavioral health conditions.
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) for 8 weeks with combinations of patch, gum, or lozenges.
  • A personalized Welcome Package including educational materials and the My Quit Journey© workbook.
  • A suite of eHealth services to supplement telephone coaching including customized email and text messages, online chat and interactive online resources.

The first step to becoming tobacco free is to choose when you want to quit. Set a concrete quit date and ask your family and friends for their support. Quitting smoking, vaping, or chewing isn’t easy. It takes time - and it takes a plan.

“At this time of year, we know that many tobacco users make a resolution to quit and start off on a healthier course,” said Elizabeth Hoyt, Project Filter program manager. “If now is your time to quit tobacco, there are many tools available to help you find and follow a quit strategy that works for you.”

“Whether you’ve never tried to quit or have tried many times, a new year means another chance to create your successful quit plan,” she said. “Let January 1 be your day to start your journey toward a tobacco-free life!”

If you or someone you know is ready to quit using tobacco products, free help is available by visiting: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) and www.projectfilter.org. Providers can refer individuals to the program by fax or online, both available on the Quitline website or by helping individuals call the Quitline in-person.

If you or someone you know uses e-cigarette products and experiences symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, fatigue, fever, or weight loss, seek medical care immediately.