Free nicotine patches and gum available
    VALPARAISO —The Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County is celebrating the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW) 15th anniversary and its work to help Porter County residents overcome their tobacco addiction and live healthier lives. To mark the anniversary, the Quitline is offering four weeks of free nicotine patches and gum to anyone who enrolls, while supplies last.
    Since it began in March 2006, the Quitline has helped more than 180,000 tobacco users quit tobacco through its free phone counseling, web-based service Web Coach and supplementary texting service Text2Quit.
    “The Indiana Tobacco Quitline plays an important part in helping all Hoosiers, including Porter County residents, live healthier lives,” said Carrie Higgins, Program Director of the Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County.  “Quitting tobacco use is one of the best actions a person can take to improve their overall health.”
    The Quitline boasts a quit rate of 43 percent, and Indiana’s adult smoking rate is 19.2 percent, down from 25.9 percent in 2011. In Porter County, the Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County has a strong coalition of members that support organizations and individuals to choose smoke free workplaces and lifestyles. So far, over 3,200 Porter County residents have been supported through the free Quitline services.
    Smoking can increase the risk of severe illness with COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, the Quitline has been working to make quitting easier through new and improved service offerings. This includes Text2Start, a new and easier way for Hoosiers to connect with free counseling services, and the Individual Services program, which provides increased flexibility through a choice of quit tools.
    “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.”
    For more information about the Indiana Tobacco Quitline and the new service offerings, visit QuitNowIndiana.com. For information about Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition for Porter County, visit valpo.edu/tepc or Facebook at TEPCPorterCounty.

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