Health department offers free stop smoking services, patches

Published 12:11 am Friday, August 27, 2010

Locals trying to kick their tobacco habits can now take advantage of a new free service to help them quit.

The service,, is a Web-based program designed to work with their user to make a personalized plan for quitting tobacco.

As part of the service, free master’s level counseling and four weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy patches are available if the user is actively engaged in counseling and is medically eligible.

Tobacco users can log on 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available to Alabama residents only.

The program is funded through the Alabama Department of Public Health with a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Alabama has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation, Julie Nightengale, cessation services manager for the Tobacco Prevention Branch of ADPH said.

More than one in fiev Alabamians use tobacco.

“By offering free Internet and telephone services, no one has to leave home or pay for medication to help them quit,” she said. “Callers must be enrolled in counseling to get the free NRT.”

The NRT will be mailed directly to the user if there are no concerns about medications the user is taking.

If the user is taking certain medications taht could interfere with the NRT, the program will ask the user’s doctor for permission to send the NRT, she said.

This service is in addition to the Alabama Tobacco Quitline, which can be accessed at 1-800-784-8669.