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    Quitline marks 10 years of helping Marylanders kick their tobacco habits
    1-800-QUIT-NOW has helped more than 82,000 residents for free
    Baltimore, MD (June 15, 2016) – This month, the Maryland Tobacco Quitline celebrates an important milestone: its 10th anniversary. A decade ago, the state introduced its popular, toll-free line (1-800-QUIT-NOW), and answered its first call – offering tobacco users free coaching and tools to help them break free from nicotine addiction.
    Sponsored by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Quitline is a powerful ally for Maryland tobacco users 13 and older who want to stop smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cigars or using smokeless tobacco. So far, it has helped more than 82,000 residents quit.
    “Knowing how difficult it can be to quit using tobacco, we are pleased that Quitline has successfully served residents for 10 years and that it continues to be an indispensable resource for those looking to quit.” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Van T. Mitchell.  
    “It takes a multifaceted approach to break free of nicotine addiction for good,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Howard Haft. “With Quitline’s counseling services – combined with free nicotine replacement therapy and web and text support – residents can count on being in good hands with the Maryland Tobacco Quitline when they are ready to quit.”
    “We are honored to be able to help so many people overcome the physical, emotional and financial toll that nicotine addiction takes on their health, happiness and lives,” said Dawn Berkowitz, Director of the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control. 
    Every program participant works one-on-one with a trained Quit Coach® who provides a personalized quit plan, offers strategies to cope with cravings and triggers, along with support and encouragement each step of the way. Marylander Renee Lynch, who quit smoking with the help of the Maryland Tobacco Quitline five years ago and has remained tobacco-free, said: “From being a smoker and now a non-smoker, I have become a new me!  My health has been restored. I feel great when I wake up in the morning. You never realize how you are destroying your body – until you see and feel the change when you stop. I feel great and give thanks to Maryland Tobacco Quitline!”
    In addition to receiving coaching, participants also are equipped with tools designed to help them adjust to their new life without tobacco—including a step-by-step Quit Guide, supportive Text2QuitSM tips and reminders sent right to their mobile devices. They also get access to Web Coach®, an online community where they can find inspiring how-to content, track their progress and connect with other individuals trying to quit. Right now participants can also receive up to 12 weeks of such free nicotine replacement aids as patches and gum.
    In celebration of the Quitline’s 10th year, the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control has launched a special birthday campaign media, including postcards, flyers, and posters, along with radio and TV ads. The campaign will run through this summer all across Maryland on TV and radio, in magazines and doctor’s offices, on buses and trains and on the Camden Yards’ Stadium Board.
    To enroll in the program, tobacco users can call 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW) or visit smokingstopshere.com. Marylanders who need help finding substance abuse treatment resources should visit http://goo.gl/GUoCpT or call the 24/7 Maryland Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.
    The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH  and www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH. ​