Mar. 31—Indiana is one of the top states with the highest smoking prevalence. That's according to the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission.
The latest statistics show that 19.2% of Hoosiers smoke cigarettes. In 2011, 25.9% of Indiana residents considered themselves smokers. The national average is 16.1%. That means around 1 in 5 Indiana adults identify as smokers.
There is help out there for those wanting to break the habit. One of those options is the Indiana Tobacco Quitline,1-800-QUIT-NOW, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this month.
Molly Healy, program coordinator for Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition said the quitline has helped many Daviess County residents overcome their tobacco addiction and live healthier lives.
Over the last 15 years, the quitline has served over 1,100 residents in Daviess County. Daviess County has repeatedly been recognized for being one of the top 10 counties in the state as it relates to quitline reach, which means the quitline services are reaching a large proportion of our community members.
"The Indiana Tobacco Quitline plays an important part in helping all Hoosiers, including Daviess County residents, live healthier lives," said Healy, adding the quitline offers free phone counseling and web-based service web coaches. "Quitting tobacco use is one of the best decisions a person can make to improve their overall health. It's important to remember that it's never too late to quit. Within three months of quitting, your immune system improves. In addition, your lung function improves and walking becomes easier."
The pandemic has helped make quitting even easier with the addition of the Text2Start service that also connects those wanting to quit with the resources they need including free counseling service and Individual Service Programs that provide several choices of tools to help quit smoking.
Hillary Lawyer, a nurse practitioner at Memorial Health Washington, knows the benefits of the quitline and so do many of her patients.
"The Indiana Tobacco Quitline has been valuable for helping my patients with smoking cessation. It has been so helpful to be able to refer patients for their coaching services to help them follow through with their smoking cessation efforts," said Lawyer.
Since its inception in March of 2006, the quitline has helped more than 180,000 tobacco users quit tobacco and has a quit rate of 43%.
"We are excited to reach this milestone of the Indiana Tobacco Quitline's 15th anniversary," said Miranda Spitznagle, director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana Department of Health. "We're also proud that the quitline has been able to launch these additional services and cessation tools at a time when Hoosiers who use tobacco need it most."
There's no time like the present to become tobacco free. To mark the anniversary, the quitline is offering four weeks of free nicotine patches and gum to anyone who enrolls, while supplies last.
To receive your free four weeks of nicotine replacement therapy, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit QuitNowIndiana.com for more information. Please follow Daviess County Tobacco-Free Coalition on Facebook for more information about the local coalition.