Kansas offers free medications to help smokers quit

Smokers in Kansas can get free medications, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy products in the form of gum, lozenges or patches, from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Tobacco Quitline from now until July 1, or while supplies last.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Tips From Former Smokers national tobacco education campaign will encourage smokers to call the Kansas Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help getting medication and quit assistance.

To take advantage of the free offer, tobacco users must enroll in the Quitline with a trained coach and be medically eligible to receive the free medication.

“We want all tobacco users to know that although quitting is hard, they can do it,” said Jennifer Church, community health promotion section director for KDHE. “Smokers often try to quit several times before succeeding, but proven treatments and services are available that can improve your chances of quitting for good. We encourage all Kansas smokers to try to quit, and if they want free help, to take advantage of this opportunity.”

In a press release, the KDHE states that nearly 70 percent of all cigarette smokers want to quit, and research shows quitting at any age has significant health benefits, such as a lower risk for lung cancer and reduced risk for heart disease and stroke.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and Kansas, killing nearly half a million Americans each year.

For more information on quitting, visit www.ksquit.org.