Smokers in Selected Counties Eligible for Free Nicotine Patches from the Helpline
For a limited time, the California Smokers' Helpline is sending free nicotine patches to callers from 34 counties in California. Eligible tobacco users who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS and enroll in the free telephone-based quitting program will receive a free two-week starter kit of patches, while supplies last.
Smokers from the following counties are eligible: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, and Tuolumne. Thus far, the Helpline has distributed free patches to over 1,000 callers from the 34 counties.
"The Helpline has already served over half a million smokers," said Christopher Anderson, the Helpline's Program Director. "We hope this new opportunity will motivate even more people to give quitting a try."
The patches are an FDA-approved treatment proven to help smokers kick the habit. They release nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin, reducing withdrawal symptoms and slowly weaning smokers off nicotine.
All 34 counties have an adult smoking prevalence rate of 14 percent or higher, according to the 2008 California Tobacco Survey. In comparison, the 2010 statewide adult smoking rate is 11.9 percent.
This new program is part of a nationwide effort called Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which aims to improve health and lower medical costs by preventing disease, such as those caused by tobacco use.
"Helpline counseling doubles smokers' chance of success in quitting," said Anderson. "People who use both counseling and a quitting aid, such as the patch, have the best chance of quitting for good. So now is a perfect time to make that call and get started."
The free patches will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.