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December 28th, 2007:

Wisconsin Provide Quit Smoking Starter Kits

Free stop-smoking medications available in new year

New Richmond News Published Friday, December 28, 2007

At a recent news conference in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services and the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention announced an expansion of Quit Line services for Wisconsin tobacco users who want to quit.

This includes free medication for those who participate in Quit Line coaching, and a new interactive Web coaching service that provides personal tracking tools and discussion forums for those trying to quit.

These enhancements to the tried-and-true Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) come at a critical time for the 800,000 tobacco users in the state.

New Year’s is a traditional time that smokers think about quitting.

Additionally, the excise tax on cigarettes in Wisconsin will increase by $1 per pack on Jan. 1. The expanded Quit Line services are designed to assist the great majority of Wisconsin smokers who want to quit and may try in response to the tax increase and the New Year.

Starting on Jan. 1, Wisconsin residents who call the Quit Line for coaching can obtain a free two-week starter kit of quit-smoking medications that will be mailed directly to their homes, either nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

Study after study has shown that providing medications in addition to Quit Line coaching is a cost-effective way to get large numbers of smokers to make a quit attempt.

“This is an unprecedented moment for Wisconsin,” said Dr. Michael Fiore, director of UW-CTRI. “We are capitalizing on that moment. The New Year, the tax increase, Quit Line coaching and the free medication represent a combined triumph over an addictive product that kills half of the people who use it. We now have the potential to spare thousands of Wisconsin families from the pain of losing loved ones to tobacco-related disease. I’m so pleased that Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature provided the leadership that enables us to offer this assistance to tobacco users and their families.”

St. Croix County healthcare providers have also used the Quit Line with their patients over the years and welcome the enhancements.

“We recently added the ability to fax a patient’s Quit Line request to their staff”, notes Dr. Paul McGinnis, a Western Wisconsin Medical Associates family physician in Hudson. “The patient fills out a brief form, signs it and the Quit Line will call them at a time the patient chooses. The Quit Line, and now medications, are great free benefits for those attempting to overcome tobacco addiction.” Other St. Croix County cessation opportunities can be found by visiting

The Quit Line is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. At other times, callers can leave a message for a return call. Coaches fluent in many languages are available to callers. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services contracts with UW-CTRI to provide services through the Quit Line.