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Massachusetts Department of Public Health launches quit smoking public awareness campaign

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Take the First Step’ connects residents with specially trained quit coaches.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the launch of Take the First Step, a campaign to help adults quit smoking, vaping, or using other tobacco or nicotine products. The campaign encourages residents considering quitting tobacco or nicotine products to take the first step by calling the Massachusetts Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) or visiting mass.gov/quitting.

“DPH has a long history of smoking cessation programs aimed at reducing access to and the influence of tobacco and vaping products in our communities,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “Making the decision to quit smoking can be overwhelming. This program provides a pathway of support and resources for residents who want to stop using tobacco and nicotine products. It’s never too late to quit.”

The Take the First Step public awareness campaign will run on TV, radio, social and digital media, on billboards and in print ads in select cities and towns across the Commonwealth in English and Spanish.

Residents who enroll in the Quitline program have access to specially trained coaches who work with them to develop individualized plans and provide ongoing support. The program is free and has helped many residents quit for good. Residents can also enroll and receive coaching services online via e-chat. Medically eligible residents (18+) may get eight weeks of free quit medicines (patches, gums, lozenges) after talking with a quit coach.

Residents who enroll in the Quitline program will receive:

• Help making a quit plan. Quit coaches can offer advice on medicines and how to get through cravings.
• Support for people who have already quit and need help staying nicotine-free.
• Connection with local one-on-one counselors and quit-smoking groups.

Multilingual support — English-, Spanish-, and Arabic-speaking coaches are available. Spanish speakers may call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) directly to speak with a Spanish-speaking coach. Interpreter services are available for 200 languages.

Additionally, 1-800-QUIT-NOW offers several specialized support programs:

• Support for individuals who are currently pregnant
• Support for individuals who use menthol products
• American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program
• Additional coaching and support for individuals who self-report having anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, or substance use disorder
• Program for young adults who use tobacco or vape (ages 18-24, includes live text coaching)
• Special support for youth ages 12-17 through a program called My Life, My Quit™

Learn more about 1-800-QUIT-NOW at mass.gov/quitting.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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